Get (/get/) is an English verb - the 5th commonest verb in English, after be, have, would and say. As a full verb, phrasal verb and multi-word verb, it has many meanings and synonyms. It also forms part of several idioms.
Synonyms (single word)
- arrive - get home, get to the station
- become - get rich
- capture - They got him in the end
- fetch - Can you get the breadknife?
- receive - Did you get my note?
- understand - I don't get it
- get at - nag, insinuate, reach, intimidate
- get off - several meanings
- get on - be successful, make progress,
- be getting on - get older
- get over - recover
- get through -
- get away with
- get hold of (someone) - contact
- get hold of (something) - acquire
- get off with (BrE)
- get on with - continue
- get out of - avoid
- get rid of
- get (one's) act together
- get high on (something)
- get it in the neck
- get it on with (AmE)
- get (one's) own back (on someone)
- get on with it
- get with it
Get = change
Get is very often used with adjectives to refer to change, as well as the process leading to a result. With this use it is very similar in meaning to become (although there are some differences).
- The rich are getting richer
- I'm getting tired of this
A useful way of explaining this use of get to students is to point out the difference between a state (be cold) and a process (get cold or get colder):
- Your coffee's getting cold/it'll get cold vs your coffee's cold
- This is interesting - this is getting more interesting - it gets even more interesting
- it's very late vs it's getting late
Get used to ...ing
Get can usually be used as a synonym of become and grow with ... used to ...ing.
- The OEC: Facts about the language: What is the commonest word? Oxford English Corpus. Retrieved 11th October 2012.
- "get at" Collins English Dictionary. Retrieved 11th October 2012.
- "get off" Collins English Dictionary. Retrieved 11th October 2012.
- Swan, Michael. Practical English Usage Oxford University Press 1980 ISBN 0-19-431197 x