Introduction:

In the first exercise on using the verb to get in English, we looked at some verbs which 'to get' can replace while keeping those verbs' meaning. We also saw how context is very important in deciding which verbs 'to get' is replacing. Unfortunately, for many of the verbs that 'to get' replaces, 'to get' cannot be used for all of these verbs' different meanings.

In this second online exercise on the verb 'to get' in English, we will continue to look at the verb and when it can and can't be used to replace another verb. This will help you to both understand and use 'to get' correctly.

Click here to go to the first part of this using the verb 'to get' exercise


Some verbs can always be replaced by to get

As we saw in the first exercise, 'to get' can be used to both replace many verbs in English and keep their meaning. An example of this, is the verb 'to buy', e.g.

'I bought/got a dog at the pet shop last week.'

This verb can always be replaced with 'to get'. But there are of many verbs in which this doesn't happen.

But not others

One of the things that people learning English should know about verbs in English, is that one single verb can have many different meanings. Many of the verbs that 'to get' can replace also have different meanings. Below we will see an example of this:

  1. 'I took the train to work this morning.'

  2. 'I took two pills this morning.'

In the first sentence, 'to take' has a meaning of 'to travel' by public transport. In the second sentence, 'to take' has a meaning of 'to consume' medicine.

Each meaning of the verb is completely different. And 'to get' can only be used to replace 'to take' in the first sentence. So you can say:

'I got the train to work this morning.'

And the meaning would be exactly the same, 'I took the train to work this morning'.

It is not possible to use 'to get' with the meaning of 'to take/consume' medicine. If you did replace 'to take' with 'to get', like in the below example:

'I got two pills this morning.'

People hearing it would think that you either 'received' or 'bought' the two pills instead.

And this is the same for many of the other verbs that can be replaced by 'to get'. For some of their meanings, you can not use or replace it with 'to get'.

So now do the below quiz to make sure you are using 'to get' correctly when you write or speak in English.



Quiz: How to use the verb 'to get' in English part 2

In each of the following questions decide if the verb in bold can be replaced by the verb 'to get'. If you believe it can, select 'yes' from the question's selection box. If you believe it can't, select 'no' from the question's selection box. Click on the "Check Answers" button at the bottom of the quiz to check your answers.

When the answer is correct, two icons will appear next to the question. The first is an Additional Information Icon "". Click on this for extra information on the word/phrase and for a translation. The second is a Pronunciation Icon "". Click on this to listen to the pronunciation of the word/phrase and to do a pronunciation speaking test.

1. I thought they were lost, but I found my keys under the table.              

Found:
(verb) When 'to find' means to locate something which has been lost (e.g. watch, document etc...), it can not be replaced with the verb 'to get'. In Spanish: "encontrar".

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Found:

Pronunciation Speaking Test:
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2. I need to find a new house before the end of summer.              

Find:
(verb) When 'to find' means to locate or obtain something new, it can be replaced with the verb 'to get'. You can use 'to get' with this meaning for a job, friends, project, car etc..., e.g. 'I would like to get a new job'. But you can't use it when the object is 'time', i.e. you can't use 'get time' to mean 'find time'. In Spanish: "conseguir".

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Find:

Pronunciation Speaking Test:
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3. I catch the bus every morning.              

Catch:
(verb) When 'to catch' means to 'travel on' or 'take' public transport (trains, buses, metros, taxis etc...), it can be replaced with the verb 'to get'. It is not used for non-public transport (cars, motorbikes etc...). In these cases you can't use either 'to get' or 'to take', but 'I drive my car' and 'I ride my bike'. 'to catch/get' is also used to mean at what time or from where you enter public transport, e.g. 'what time do you catch/get the bus?' 'I catch/get the bus at 7.30am'. In Spanish: "tomar/coger".

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Catch:

Pronunciation Speaking Test:
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4. I'll throw the ball and you catch it.             

Catch:
(verb) When 'to catch' means to stop something (like a ball, keys etc...) with your hands from hitting the floor, it can't be replaced with the verb 'to get'. In Spanish: "agarrar/coger".

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Catch:

Pronunciation Speaking Test:
To check your pronunciation of this word/phrase, first click on the microphone icon () below. Then allow the browser to record your voice and then say the above word/phrase. Although this test is good, it sometimes does not recognise some of the words/phrases.

       

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5. I became lost in the centre of London. I didn't know where I was.             

Became:
(verb) When 'to become' means that something or a situation is in the process of change/transition, it can be replaced with the verb 'to get'. It is used in the situation of 'to become lost' to mean that a person is increasingly lost during a period of time. With this meaning, the verbs 'to become/get' need to be followed by an adjective, e.g. 'I'm getting/becoming bored', 'I always become/get tired in the afternoons'. In Spanish: "perderse".

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Became:

Pronunciation Speaking Test:
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6. I became the manager of this team in 2006.             

Became:
(verb) When 'to become' means to obtain a new position/job in work or a new profession/situation, it can't be replaced with the verb 'to get'. For example, 'I want to get a doctor' does not mean 'I want to become a doctor'. In Spanish: "hacerse/llegar a ser".

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Became:

Pronunciation Speaking Test:
To check your pronunciation of this word/phrase, first click on the microphone icon () below. Then allow the browser to record your voice and then say the above word/phrase. Although this test is good, it sometimes does not recognise some of the words/phrases.

       

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7. I can't answer your question.              

Answer:
(verb) When 'to answer' means to respond or reply to a question from somebody or a question on an exam/exercise, e.g. 'you need to answer all the questions'. It can't be replaced with the verb 'to get'. In Spanish: "contestar".

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Answer:

Pronunciation Speaking Test:
To check your pronunciation of this word/phrase, first click on the microphone icon () below. Then allow the browser to record your voice and then say the above word/phrase. Although this test is good, it sometimes does not recognise some of the words/phrases.

       

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8. Somebody is ringing the door bell. I'll answer the door.             

Answer:
(verb) When 'to answer' means to go and open the door when somebody is knocking or pressing the door bell, it can be replaced with the verb 'to get'. In addition, 'to get' can also replace 'to answer' for answering/picking up a phone when it is ringing, e.g. 'don't worry, I'll get the phone'. But you can't use 'to get' to replace 'to answer' for emails, letters, complaint etc... In Spanish: "abrir/contestar/coger".

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Answer:

Pronunciation Speaking Test:
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9. I'm going to take the computer to work by taxi.              

Take:
(verb) When 'to take' means to transport/move a physical object (e.g. documents, a bag, furniture etc...) from one place to another, it can be replaced with the verb 'to get'. It is used when people say or want to know what type of transport was used to move the object, e.g. 'how did you get/take the television to Spain?' 'I got/took it to Spain by car'. You must always include in the sentence what the object is you are moving and to where it is going. When 'to bring' has a similar meaning, you can also replace it with 'to get', e.g. 'how did you bring/get it here?'. In Spanish: "llevar".

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Take:

Pronunciation Speaking Test:
To check your pronunciation of this word/phrase, first click on the microphone icon () below. Then allow the browser to record your voice and then say the above word/phrase. Although this test is good, it sometimes does not recognise some of the words/phrases.

       

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10. He has to take his medicine before eating.             

Take:
(verb) When 'to take' means to consume with the mouth any type of medicine (e.g. pills, liquids etc...), it can't be replaced with the verb 'to get'. For example, 'I don't want to take the cough syrup, it tastes awful!'. In Spanish: "tomar".

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Take:

Pronunciation Speaking Test:
To check your pronunciation of this word/phrase, first click on the microphone icon () below. Then allow the browser to record your voice and then say the above word/phrase. Although this test is good, it sometimes does not recognise some of the words/phrases.

       

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11. I took a taxi from the airport to arrive here.              

Took:
(verb) When 'to take' means to 'to travel' on public transport (trains, planes, taxis etc...), it can be replaced with the verb 'to get' (you can also use 'to catch' with the same meaning). It is not used for non-public transport (cars, motorbikes etc...). In these cases you can't use either 'to get' or 'to take', but 'I drive my car' and 'I ride my bike' instead. In Spanish: "tomar/coger".

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Took:

Pronunciation Speaking Test:
To check your pronunciation of this word/phrase, first click on the microphone icon () below. Then allow the browser to record your voice and then say the above word/phrase. Although this test is good, it sometimes does not recognise some of the words/phrases.

       

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Click here to go to the first part of this using the verb 'to get' exercise




Practice

Now that you understand the new vocabulary, practise it by creating your own sentences with the new words/phrases.