“Get” is a tricky word. It can mean “understand.” This is how I used “get” in the title of this article; I am asking you if you understand the word “get.” It’s OK if you don’t always understand this word. It’s a small word, but it has a lot of uses. Below, we’ll look at the 9 uses of “get,” with example sentences.
Use 1: Receive/acquire
“Get” can mean to be given something, or to acquire something by buying, finding, or taking it.
Example sentences: I got a gift from my father on my birthday. You should get a new shirt from the store. I’m getting a great idea.
Use 2: Describing mental and physical states
“Get” can mean “to experience something or become something” when referring to mental or physical states.
Example sentences: She will get angry when she hears the news. They got cold when they went outside without their coats. Tommy got a stomach ache. I’m going to get plastic surgery.
Use 3: Arrival
“Get” can simply mean “arrive.”
Example sentences: Call me when you get near my house. After a student gets to the TOEFL testing site, they will need to show ID.
Use 3: To fetch
“Get” can mean “fetch.” It’s important to remember that “fetching” something is a little different than “bringing” something. If you bring a thing somewhere, you take something from one place and move it to another place. However, if you fetch something, you go from one place to another place, get something, and then return to where you originally were. So, if you move food from your house to your friend’s house, you brought your friend food. However, if you are at a friend’s house, you go to the store for food, and then you bring food back to your friend’s house, you have fetched food for your friend.
Example sentences: Get me the cheese from the fridge. She went to the store so she could get her husband some toilet paper.
Use 4: Sports, games, and scoring
“Get” can mean to earn points, be given a score, or achieve something in a game.
Example sentences: The basketball team won by getting 29 points. She got a 90 on her TOEFL iBt. The soccer goalie didn’t let anyone get a goal.
Use 5: To make or cause something to happen
“Get” can describe making something happen, either by causing someone to do something, or causing an event.
Example sentences: The auto mechanic got the car to run. The children bothered their parents over and over until they got them to buy some ice cream.
Use 6: To repay or get revenge
“Get” can refer to paying someone back or returning a favor. It can also refer to “revenge”— repaying someone for a bad thing they have done by doing something bad in return.
Example sentences: Thank you for buying me dinner; I’ll get you next time. You stole from me! I’ll get you for this!!!
Use 7: To understand or comprehend
This is the use from the title of my article, so we’ve come full circle.
Example sentences: The small child did not get why his parents had to go to work during the day. She didn’t laugh because she didn’t get the joke.
“Get” also has quite a few uses in phrasal verbs, but I’ll get to that in a later blog post.