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Difference Between Get and Put

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GET is the present tense form of the verb to get. Got is the past tense form.  The verb “GET” is conjugated as given below:

I getWe getYou get

They get

People get

He getsShe getsIt gets

The girl gets

Mary gets

The word “GET” means to receive something or to obtain something, such as:-

  • I get a good salary from my employer.  (I receive a good salary…)
  • We get our books from a library. (We obtain our books …)
  • He gets a present on his birthday. (He receives a present…)
  • The girl gets a gift for Christmas. (The girl receives a gift…)
  • John gets groceries from the shop next door. (John obtains groceries…)

GET”  can also mean to fetch something.  More examples:

  • Get  (fetch) me that book lying on the table.
  • My mother gets (fetches) me from school in her car.
  • The airline gets (fetches) its passengers from the aircraft by bus.
  • Mary gets (fetches) her daughter from the piano class.

Another meaning for “GET” is to become, such as the sentence “I get (become) angry when you talk too much”.

  • The teacher gets (becomes) irritated when we talk in class.
  • John gets (becomes) lonely when his wife is away.
  • We get (become) frightened during a storm.
  • Life gets (becomes) tiresome if one is crippled.
  • Watching television gets (becomes) boring during the summer months.GETcan  be used as a phrasal verb.  Phrasal verbs are verbs made up of a verb plus one or more prepositions such as of, to, with, etc.. Phrasal verbs can be separable or inseparable, meaning that they can stay together or be separated. Phrasal verbs are some of the most commonly used verbs in everyday English used by native English speakers.

Example/ Meaning

  • John wants to get ahead in the company. (John wants to be successful in the company)
  • I hope I get through my driving test. (I hope I pass my driving test)
  • Let’s get together tomorrow.  (Let’s meet tomorrow).
  • I want to get to the theatre before 7 p.m. (I want to reach the theatre before 7 p.m.)
  • Let’s get going or we’ll be late. (Let’s leave or we’ll be late)

It is recommended that “GET” should not be used in writing.  Instead use a substitute word.

The word “PUT” means to place an object in a particular position.  The word “PUT” can be used in both the present and past tense, except that he, she, it and a singular noun  and pronoun, all drop the “s” in the past tense.  Example: He put away his books and started watching TV.  The conjugation of the verb is as below:

I putWe putYou put

They put

People put

He putsShe putsIt puts

The girl puts

Mary puts

  • We put (placed) our clothes in the cupboard.
  • He puts (parks or places) his car in the garage before going to bed.
  • Maria put (placed) her reading glasses down on the table
  • Gaby puts (places) her handbag on the conveyor belt for a security check.
  • People put (place) a lot of trust in the new government.

PUT”  can be used in many different ways, not just to express placing an object. Consider the following sentences where the word put can be part of an idiom:

  • Robert was nervous on meeting us but we put him at ease.  (We helped Robert to relax).
  • I don’t know why you put up with her tantrums! (I don’t know why you suffer her tantrums).
  • We put him up at the hotel next door.  (We found accommodation for him at the hotel next door).
  • Put on your clothes now, we have to leave.  (Wear your clothes now. We have to leave).
  • The ship put out to sea at 10 a.m. today.  (The ship left at 10 a.m. today).
  • Put yourself in Robert’s shoes to understand his anger.  (Imagine you are Robert to understand his anger).
  • Don’t put yourself out for me.  (Don’t take too much trouble over me).
  • I put my daughter to work in the kitchen.  (I made my daughter work in the kitchen).
  • James put it to his wife that she was untidy.  (James suggested to his wife that she was untidy).
  • I put Laura in her place for defying me. (I humbled  Laura for defying me or made her feel that she is not as important as she thinks she is).
  • The politician was able to put across his ideas effectively.  (The politician was able to convey his ideas effectively).
  • Susan is always putting me down in front of others.  (Susan is always making me feel small or demeaning me in front of others).

Both “PUT” and “GET” are very common verbs.  However, they can be used to convey a variety of meanings.


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