Expressions With Get

You can use “get” + adjective to describe a type of change. When you use it this way, it can mean “become”.

Use “get” + adjective instead of using a reflexive pronoun. For example, say “get involved” rather than “involve myself”. This will make you sound more natural when you speak English.

Here are some examples of “get” + adjective in categories.

Marital Status

get engaged = when you “officially” decide to marry someone
“They got engaged last week and they’ll probably get married next year.”

get married = when you marry someone
“We got married two years ago.”

get divorced = when you legally separate from your wife / husband
“Her parents got divorced when she was a child.”

Physical Changes

get ill = become ill
“He got ill on the camping trip.”

get pregnant = become pregnant
“She was delighted when she got pregnant for the second time.”

get old / get older = the process of becoming old
“He’s getting a bit old now and find the stairs difficult.”

We also have the expression “not getting any younger” to mean the same thing. “I can’t stay up late any more – I’m not getting any younger you know!”

get tired = become tired
“I get tired after about 10 pm.”

get hungry = become hungry
“He always gets hungry before lunch.”

get thirsty = become thirsty
“I’m getting thirsty. I need to buy a bottle of water.”

get hurt / get injured = become physically injured
“A few people got hurt when they all tried to leave the concert at once.”

get killed = be killed
“He got killed in a car crash just before Christmas.”

get dressed / get undressed = put on / take off clothes
“It takes her ages to get dressed in the morning.”
“I got undressed and put on my pyjamas.”

Changes In Your Situation

get started = start
“We need to get started on the project as soon as possible.”

get ready = prepare
“I’m getting ready for my next trip abroad.”

get involved = become involved
“I don’t want to get involved in their argument.”

get rich = become rich
“They got rich through their oil deals.”

(We also say “get-rich-quick schemes”.)

get lost = lose your way
“I got completely lost in the centre of Paris.”

(Also: “get lost” = “go away!”)

Changes In Your Emotions & Feelings

We often use “get” with negative emotions.

get sad = become sad
“I always get a little sad when I see these photos.”

get depressed = become very sad
“He got very depressed at the situation.”

get angry = become angry
“When I tried to discuss the situation with him, he got angry.”

get upset = become angry or sad
“When he told her she’d failed the exam, she got very upset.”

get defensive = try to defend yourself
“I tried to talk to him about his attitude, but he just got defensive.”

get excited = become excited
“My children always get excited before Christmas.”

Environmental Changes

get light = when the day starts
“It gets light earlier in summer.”

get dark = when the day ends
“What time does it get dark in December?”

get late = when you need to leave an event or a person
“It’s getting a bit late – I’d better go. Thank you for a lovely evening!”

General Change

get better = when a situation improves
“The weather is getting better.”
“My brother is getting better after his accident.”

get worse = when a situation becomes more serious
“His cough is getting worse. He should see a doctor.”


Speak English More Naturally

Expressions With Get

A quick way to speak English more naturally is to use common expressions like the “get” phrases above.

In my fluency program Real English Conversations, I show you the most common collocations and expressions in spoken English.