Top Ten Uses of Get

Raising a Hand
Klaus Vedfelt / Getty Images

The verb 'to get' is used in many senses in English and can be confusing at times. Here is a list of the top ten uses of 'to get' with simple explanations and example sentences. Of course, these are not all the senses of 'to get'. In fact, there are many phrasal verbs with 'to get'. This list is meant to give intermediate level learners the main senses of this important verb.

To Acquire

Get = acquire, buy, come into the possession of something.

  • She got a lot of paintings from her uncle.
  • They got a new pet.
  • Get your results the next day.
  • I got my computer at the Apple store.

To Become

Get = become, to change into a state, often used with adjectives.

  • He got annoyed when he heard the bad news.
  • It must be getting more serious.
  • Janice has gotten much more open in her attitudes.
  • Please don't get angry with me!

To Receive

Get = receive a present, obtain attention.

  • I got some clothes for Christmas.
  • His movie got a good review.
  • I got some books from my girlfriend.
  • What would you like to get for your birthday?

To Arrive

Get = arrive, reach a destination.

  • She got home at 7 o'clock.
  • She didn't get to Chicago until after midnight.
  • I got to work late because of the weather.
  • I won't be able to get there until later. 

To Bring

Get = bring, fetch, go and bring or take back.

  • Get me those books over there, please.
  • Could you get the wine?
  • Let me get the shovel and we'll go to work.
  • I'll just get my phone and then we can leave. 

To Experience

Get = experience, undergo, of mental or physical states or experiences.

  • He got an idea. 
  • She gets vertigo when she looks out the window.
  • They get nauseous when they drive.
  • Peter got frightened by what he thought was a ghost. 

To Make

Get = make, score, achieve a point or goal.

  • Nicklaus got a 70 on that extremely difficult golf course.
  • The Brazilian team got 4 goals.
  • She got 29 points that day.
  • Anthony got 12 rebounds during the game.

To Contract

Get = contract, take, be stricken by an illness, fall victim to an illness.

  • He got a horrible disease while he was traveling. 
  • She got pneumonia and had to go to the hospital.
  • She got a cold from Tom.
  • Unfortunately, I got ill from drinking the water while on vacation. 

To Induce

Get = induce, stimulate, cause, make someone do, cause to do; cause to act in a certain way, always followed by an object.

  • My children finally got me to buy a computer.
  • My wife got me to pay attention to the speaker.
  • The class got the teacher to postpone the test. 
  • I wish I could get them to take me seriously!

To Pay Back

Get = payback, take vengeance on or get even

  • We'll get them! 
  • That'll get him good!
  • This time I got him.
  • Just wait until I get you!

Get Uses Quiz

Decide how 'get' is meant in the following sentences. 

  1. I got three As last semester: be stricken by / become / score
  2. Peter has gotten serious about his studies: arrive / cause / become
  3. They got their father to buy them a new horse: bring / acquire / cause 
  4. We got three books for our new library: experience / cause / receive
  5. Jane got the flu from her students last week: arrive / experience / contract
  6. Could you get me the paper?: receive / fetch / take vengeance
  7. I got spooked by all the talk of revolution: experience / fetch / become
  8. I got some excellent advice on the new job: bring / receive / cause
  9. She promised to get him someday for all his bad behavior: payback / fetch / acquire
  10. John Handersohn got 32 points and 12 rebounds during the game last night: become / score / arrive


  1. score
  2. become
  3. cause
  4. receive
  5. contract
  6. fetch
  7. experience
  8. receive
  9. payback
  10. score

There are also a wide range of idioms and expressions with 'get' and numerous phrasal verbs with 'get'. 

mla apa chicago
Your Citation
Beare, Kenneth. "Top Ten Uses of Get." ThoughtCo, Aug. 26, 2020, Beare, Kenneth. (2020, August 26). Top Ten Uses of Get. Retrieved from Beare, Kenneth. "Top Ten Uses of Get." ThoughtCo. (accessed June 7, 2023).