Part 3: Basic uses of “to get” (VIDEO)

Welcome to part three of my series on using the English verb “to get”!

Check out Part 1 and Part 2 here. The text of this lesson is below the video.


passive structures

Last week, we learned that one use of “get” is to add the past participle to talk about reflexive actions.

But another version of “get” + past participle is used to make passive structures, just like “be” + past participle. For example:

  • He got caught speeding. (=He was caught speeding.)
  • I get paid every Friday. (=I am paid every Friday.)
  • My car got broken into last week. (=My car was broken into [burglarized] last week.)


get + …ing; get + infinitive

Using “get” + a verb ending in “-ing” can be used to mean “start” + “-ing.”

  • Let’s get moving!
  • I need to get going. I’m going to be late.

When paired with an infinitive, it can mean “to manage,” “to have an opportunity,” or “to be allowed.”

  • The baby was sleeping, so we didn’t get to see her. (=We didn’t manage to see her.)
  • Do I get to meet your boss today? (=Will I have an opportunity to meet your boss?)

This same structure can also indicate a gradual development of something.

  • She’s nice once you get to know her. (=…once you become acquainted with her.)
  • He’s getting to be a great salesman. (=He’s becoming a great salesman.)

Like other uses of get, these usages are common in conversation, and are slightly more informal.


Do you have questions about using “get”? Leave a comment and let me know!

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