Get is an informal word, so it is more common in spoken English than in written English. It has many meanings. Here are some of the basic ones.

I got a letter this morning.
You get a certificate at the end of the course.

obtain (sometimes = buy):
She’s trying to get a new job.
Where did you get those shoes?

become (= a change in state):
It gets dark very early at this time of year.
My hands are getting cold.

When did you get here?
I’ll phone when I get home.

Could you get the books from the cupboard?
She went to get the children from school.

Get + past participle

We sometimes use the more informal ‘get’ + past participle:

get married (= marry): She got married in France.

get divorced (= divorce): They got divorced last year. (= the marriage has ended officially)

get dressed (= dress): I got dressed quickly and went out.

get undressed (= undress): I le got undressed and got into bed.

get changed (= change clothes): When I got home I went to my room and got changed.

get lost (= lose one’s way): I got lost on my way to the station.

Common collocations 

Get is so common with certain words (often describing a change of state) that it is a good idea to learn them as expressions.

It’s getting hot/cold, dark/light, late, better/worse, busy

I’m getting hot/cold, tired, better/worse, hungry, ready (= preparing)

Note: The expression getting better at something can describe an improvement in your ability to do something, e.g. I’m getting better at English/swimming; it also describes an improvement in your health, e.g. She was very ill but she’s getting better now. (# getting worse)

Phrasal verbs and special expressions with ‘get’ 

I get on very well with my sister. (= I have a very good relationship with my sister)

How are you getting on?
(a) (= a general question: how is life?)
(b) (= what progress are you making, e.g. with your English?)

It’s difficult to get to know people in a foreign country. (= meet people and make friends)

I want to get rid of all my old records. (= sell them or throw them away or give them away)

My alarm wakes me up at 7 a.m., but I don’t usually get up (= get out of bed) until 7.15.


You can consolidate your knowledge now by passing this test.

Good luck Zealots.