Difference Between Similar Terms and Objects

Difference Between Get And Have

Get is a verb which is conjugated as follows:

I get
You get
We get
They get
People get
He gets
She gets
It gets
Tom gets
One gets

There are many ways in which you can use “get” as a verb.  One meaning of “get” is to receive something, or come to have possession of something or enjoyment of something; to acquire or obtain something.  Below are some examples.

  • I get a good pension after retirement.  (I receive a good pension…)
  • He got many presents on his birthday. (He received many presents…)
  • She gets custody of her daughter.  (She comes to have possession …)
  • Thomas gets the news from the internet.  (Thomas acquires information on current events…)
  • Mary got a very cheap price for the safari to Kenya.  (Mary obtained…)

“Get” can also mean to fetch something or to cause something to happen.  One can use “get” to command someone to do something. See the examples below.

  • Can you please get me a glass of water? (Fetch)
  • Did you get the concert tickets?  (Fetch)
  • James got drunk at the party.  (James was “caused” to become drunk …)
  • Elsie got her hair cut today and she looks lovely.  (Elsie “caused” her hair to be cut…)
  • We get our clothes washed at the laundry.  (We “cause” our clothes …)
  • Get Robert to see me immediately! (Command)
  • Get on with your homework or else you will be punished. (Command)
  • Get rid of that nasty habit of smoking. (Command)
  • Get going before you miss the bus. (Command)

 “Get” can also be used to express a feeling or emotion and can be replaced with the word “become”, such as –

  • I get angry when you follow me wherever I go.  (Become angry)
  • I get hurt when you insult me.  (Become hurt)
  • I get tired of reading the same news all the time. (Become tired)
  • Tom gets depressed when his wife nags him.  (Become depressed)
  • Life gets tough when the money runs out.  (Becomes tough)
  • Laura gets nervous thinking about exams. (Becomes nervous)

Conjugation of the verb “have” is as shown below:

I have
You have
We have
They have
People have
He has
She has
It has
Tom has
One has

“To have” means to possess; own; hold for use; contain.  It differs slightly in the meaning of “to get” which suggests you acquire or obtain something.

For instance “I have a car” means that you already own a car and have owned it for some time.  “I just got a car” means that you have recently acquired a car.

Below are examples of how to use “have” in contrast to “get”.

  • Michael has a lot of money.  (possession)
  • Michael gets a lot of money from trading.  (acquires)
  • We have sufficient funds for our holiday. (hold for use)
  • We get sufficient funds to go on holiday. (obtain)
  • The book has two hundred pages. (contains)
  • The book gets read despite two hundred pages. (causes to be read)
  • She has a son. (possession)
  • She got a son last week. (acquired recently)

Other meanings of “to have” can be to experience or endure as joy or pain, or even to command someone to do something.

  • He has hurt me deeply.
  • Have a good time at the party!
  • She has been through very bad times.
  • Mark has gone through a bitter divorce.
  • This party has been a great success.
  • Have Mr. Jones report to me immediately!
  • You have to make more efforts to pass the exam.
  • Have a meeting scheduled for tomorrow at 11 a.m.
  • I cannot go mountain climbing as I have vertigo.
  • George has been hospitalised due to a heart attack.

The usage of “have” and “get” have very subtle differences.  Sometimes the words can be interchanged without change in meaning such as “Get Mr. Jones to report to me immediately” means the same as “Have Mr. Jones report to me immediately”.  However “James got drunk at the party” does not have the same meaning as “James had drunk at the party”.


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