10 ways to master the Verb Get

Mastering the verb GET

From the transcript:

One of the things I don't like about textbooks, even though I use them to teach, is that sometimes the English they teach you isn't really what native speakers use everyday. I'll give you an example:


I cannot remember the last time I used the word "arrive". I arrived home (fake British accent) ... Sounds a little weird to me, I mean it's not wrong but it is kinda formal, it's not as natural as some of the other verbs I might use. So, one of the verbs you can master is the verb "GET".


Okay, first of all I need to tell you, I can't remember the last time I used the word "arrive" ... "I arrived home" sounds a little bit formal to me, it's not wrong, it's just not as natural as using the verb "GET".


GET can mean "arrive"


What time did you GET to school? When you GET to the party, give me a call and I will me meet you there. So "GET" can mean "arrive."



GET can also mean "receive"

as in, "Did you GET my email?" "What did you GET for your birthday?" or "What would you like to GET for your next birthday?" It can mean RECEIVE.



GET can also mean "to become"

TO BECOME. Like, every year I GET (I become)— I GET a little bit older. I GOT so tired during that movie it was so slow. GET.



GET used to

This is sort of related actually to #3. So, because GET can mean BECOME, (over time) TO BECOME something, you can use it with the two expressions: "Get used to something."  To "GET used to something"  is an adjective. “Used to” here is an adjective and it means “to become familiar.” So, for example, when I first arrived in Hong Kong I was so confused. I didn't know where anything was, but I GOT use to it after a few weeks. I became familiar. I became more comfortable with the new situation.



GET the hang of something


A synonym of "GET used to" is "GET the hang of something.” To GET the hang of something means that, over time, you become more comfortable with something that was strange and a little bit uncomfortable to begin with. For example, I know I'm speaking quickly, I know I speak quickly in these videos but you will “get the hang of it.” You will get the hang of it!






GET rid of it


So, I have a sweater but I don't want to keep it. I want to sell it, throw it away, or give it to someone. I'm going to GET rid of it. To GET rid of something means you're not going to keep something. So you could say, "where can I GET rid of my sofa? I don't want my sofa anymore." To get rid of something. You have a bad boyfriend? A bad girlfriend? GET rid of 'em. Get rid of ‘em! You don't keep it anymore.



GET going

This is really common to say "let’s get ready to leave" or "let's get ready to start." So, sometimes when I'm doing a lesson in class with my students, I might say, "Okay guys, it's time to GET going." It means we are going to START.  Or, I could use, "It's 2 o'clock. It's time to GET going, it's time for us to leave." The context tells us. It's "leave" or "start." GET GOING.



GET on my nerves

This is the kind of idiom that starts with GET. We use, "GET on my nerves." To GET on my nerves. So, for example, "It really GETS on my nerves when people obsess with their cell phones when we're having dinner together." It means, it irritates me. It's annoying. Maybe your younger brother or sister, sometimes GETS on your nerves. They're a little bit annoying. So, what GET's on your nerves?



To GET something.

Like, “I don't GET it", just means you don't understand. Got it? Get it? It means to UNDERSTAND. She talks so quickly, I just don't get it. To GET it. GOT it? Good!



GET a load of something

A really informal way to say "Hey, Look!" or "Did you see?" is to use the expression "GET a load." To GET a load of something. "Did you get a load of him?", it means to see him. Or, you could say, "GET a load of that!" It means look at that over there! "GET a load of something" means to look or see or watch.

Take chances, make mistakes. That's how you grow.
- Mary Tyler Moore

Did you GET all that?

There you go. Ten ways you can start using GET to make your English a little more natural, a little more informal. So, pick one or two of these ten ways to use GET and get going! Experiment, play, try to use them.


And for practice, you can practice your own example sentences in the comments below.


This is Nessa on ESL TOP TEN and I will see you next time— right back here.

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