Get, Got or Gotten: Difference between Them and How to Correctly Use them

The terms “get,” “got,” or “gotten,” are words often misused and interchanged. They have the same meanings but differ when it comes to tenses. The definition of “Get” is something that you want to receive or something that you possess. The preterit and perfect participle of “Get” is “Got”. “Got” is commonly used as the preterit of “Get” in English-speaking states outside of the United States. They choose to use the word “Gotten” in North American English, while in British English, they choose to use “Got” as the perfect participle.

The differences and comparison for ‘Get, Got or Gotten’ are listed below. 

  • “Get” is used to indicate to receive or to possess something.
  • “Get” is used to illustrate a situation resulting from another situation.
  • “Got” is used as the preterite of “Get” in British English.
  • “Got” is used to indicate that someone has reached a specified point or stage.
  • “Gotten” is used to indicate the past participle form of the word “get”.
  • “Gotten” is used with the word “have” or has” to show that someone has recently come to possess something.

Writers and speakers must know the difference between the words “get”, “got”, and “gotten”. They must be able to determine who they are speaking or writing to, in order to know which words must be used and how to use them. “Gotten” is used to refer to the process of owning something while “got” is used to refer to own or to possess something in North America. Speakers and writers usually use “got” in North America. The word “gotten” is often used with the words “has” or “have”  which is more common in British English than in American English.

Some examples of using the term “get” in a sentence are the following. “I want to get a haircut before taking a vacation.”. “His arrogance gets on my nerves.” The first example shows that the word “get” is preceded with a marker “to” which means to obtain or acquire. The second example implies that the attitude of the subject moved or affected the writer’s mood. On the other hand, some examples of the word “got” are as follows. “Leo was really tired when he got home.” “The players got to meet their favorite basketball star yesterday.” The first example indicates an idea that the subject arrived at his house exhausted. The second example means that the subject was able to get to know a person whom they look up to. The word “got” in both sentences is the past tense of the word “get” which is used in the sentences to describe an ability to perform an action or arrive at a certain location. Lastly, the sentence examples for the word” gotten” are the following. “I have gotten better at singing since I joined the camp.” “She has gotten so dramatic after they left.” The word “gotten” in both sentences is the past participle of the word “got” which indicates that a certain event or state has occurred. The first sentence states that the writer has come to a point where he/she has improved her singing skills. The second example expresses an idea that the subject has become very sensitive after losing her company.

A lot of writers and speakers are often asked as to “Why know the difference between ”get,” ”got,“ and”gotten “ for content writing and marketing?” It is important to know the difference between “get”, “got”, and “gotten” especially when it comes to content writing and marketing because there is a need to write better content and communicate in a healthier way to the readers and listeners. Content writers must bear in mind that applying the right word in a correct way produces good quality content and better marketing.

What does “Get” Mean?

“Get” means to receive, to be in possession of something, to obtain or to acquire. The word get came from Old Norse which means “to obtain, reach; to be able to.” Get has a very wide and broad meaning. It is often used as a helping verb to complete sentences and phrases. In the Old English, Dutch and Frisian, get is exclusively used in compounds such as begietan which means to beget and forgietan which means to forget. Usually in compound phrases together with have and had, it is grammatically wrong to use got but it is necessary to use if the sentence is used to give emphasis on something. “Get” is defined in a lot of ways but the simplest definition is get means to receive or to obtain something in the Oxford Dictionary. People started using the word get with different meanings in the 1800s. It started with ‘get wind of’, which meant to become acquainted with in 1840. Get is a common word in the English dictionary because it is used in an informal way in both speaking and writing. Plus, get has a lot of meaning and is used in so many idioms. It is used less in formal writing compared to informal writing and has a wide number of grammatical patterns depending on how the writers and speakers use it. The word get is important in our daily lives because writers use it almost all the time to ask for something they want or they need. 

What are the sentence examples with “Get”?

Listed below are the sentence examples with the word “Get.”

  • “It is my turn to get food delivered to you today.” The word “get” in the sentence implies that it is the speaker’s responsibility to process or organize the food delivery on that certain day. Notice that “get” is preceded with the infinitive marker ”to”, which indicates that the word “get” is an infinitive verb. The two words when combined denotes that a certain task needs to be done.
  • “I’m going to get rid of all the bad energy he has given me.” The word “get” in the sentence is paired up with the word” to” again, denoting that an action needs to be accomplished. The word “get” as used in the sentence, means to arrive at a certain point of becoming. That point of becoming as expressed in the sentence, is the writer’s point of riddance for bad energy.
  • “It really gets me when my mom shouts at me.” Notice that the word “get” contains the letter “s” at the end. The word “Gets” in the sentence is in a third-person singular simple present indicative form of “get”. The sentence implies that the writer’s mother’s shout is a big deal for him.her.
  • “I can get the bill for our dinner tonight.” The sentence shows the most generic way of applying the word “get” in a sentence. The word “get” in the sentence means to take or to claim.

When to use the word “Get” in a sentence?

“Get” is used in describing or referring to something. It is used in different ways since “get” is a flexible verb. First, “get” is used to obtain, to receive or to buy, we use get plus the direct object or get plus an indirect object plus an object. Second, get is used when talking about arriving or reaching a certain destination to express travel.  “Get” plus the expression of the place is used to form the sentence. Third, get is  used to refer to a change of situation. Use “get” plus an adjective to form the sentence. Lastly, “get” is used as a phrasal verb which leads to numerous meanings. Use “get” plus the preposition or an adverb to form a correct phrasal verb. The words “acquire”, “obtain”, “receive”, “gain”, and “earn”are the synonyms of the word “get”. Since “get” is used to express actions, it is not advisable to be used in sentences that answer the questions who and when. “Get” is prohibited from being used in passive sentences. 

What are the synonyms of “Get”?

The words “Bring” and “earn” are the top two most used synonyms for “get”. “Bring” is defined as to come to a place with somebody or something. For example, “Please bring (get) me the water bottle.” The sentence means that the person speaking in the sentence is asking for the water bottle. Compared to the word get, bring is used with adverbs and nouns. Another synonym for the word “get” is “earn”. “Earn” is defined by the Oxford Dictionary as to get money for the work that is accomplished. For example, “She earns (gets) a maximum of $500,000 a year”. The sentence means that the person speaking is earning $500,000 a year. “Earn” is used with adverbs and nouns, the same with the word “bring”, however, “earn” is used with prepositions as well. 

What does “Got” Mean?

“Got” is defined as the preterite and perfect participle of “get”. Since “got” is only the preterite and perfect participle of get, the word “got” came from Old Norse as well. “Got” is defined as the past participle of gotten in British English, in the Oxford Dictionary. The same with get, got is used in  the 1800s. Starting with ‘get wind of’ in 1840, then ‘to get drunk’ from the 1660s up to ‘to get religion’ in 1772. It is considered grammatically wrong to use the word “got” in a formal way but it is acceptable in informal writing. The most preferred past participle of get is got, according to British English. “Got” is an important word that is used daily because it is considered slang. 

What are the sentence examples with “Got”?

The difference between “Get” and Got is that Get is the present tense of the verb and Got is the past tense form. Although the tenses are often used interchangeably. “Got” is often questioned with “Do you get it?” to check the listener’s comprehension in informal speech, “i.” It is a question answerable with “I get it” or “I got it” which are both considered correct. There are better ways to create a sentence with numerous words instead of using got in different ways. For example, “I got (understood) the lesson she taught yesterday.” The word “got” can be replaced with the word understood to make it more formal. Another example is, “I got (took) my bag with me to the doctor’s appointment.” The word “got”  can be replaced with the word “took” so that it can easily be understood instead of using the same word.

When to use the word “Got” in a sentence?

The word “got” must not be used to give emphasis to the words ‘has’ or ‘have’ because it is considered grammatically wrong. Although, “got” has numerous ways to be used in a sentence. it can be used as an alternative for the word became. “Got” is applicable in informal writing and speaking. However, it is considered incorrect when used in a formal way. A synonym for the word “got” is the same as the synonyms for the word “get” but in past tense form. The word “brought”, which is the past tense of the “bring”, is the synonym for the word “got”. While for earn, the synonym is earned. These are used when talking about something from the past.

What are the synonyms of “Got”?

“Achieved” and “attained” are some of the synonymous terms for the word “got”.  The word “achieved” is defined as “to succeed in reaching a particular goal, status or standard”, according to the Oxford dictionary,  For example, “I achieved (got) to advance to a higher year level”.  The sentence implies that the person speaking moved to a higher year level. Another synonym for the word “got” is “attained”. “Attained” is defined as “to succeed in getting something” in the Oxford Dictionary. For example, “She attained (got) her scholarship in less than 5 months.” The sentence denotes that the speaker attained her scholarship in just 5 months. The difference in using the word “got” instead of the actual words is evident in the sentence. It is formally written and it is easier to read and to understand if  words that are better compared to the word “got” are used. 

What does “Gotten” Mean?

“Gotten” is the past participle of get in North America. It is known as the ‘newer’ way of connecting the word get. “Gotten” is the past participle form of “get”, showing the trace of the Old English form of the verb. The word “gotten” is defined as “the past participle of get”, according to the Oxford Dictionary,  The first use of “gotten” came from the British even though it is said that the word gotten came from North America. The word “gotten” was used first in the fourth century. The first few people who used the word “gotten” were Shakespeare, Bacon and Pope before it was transported across the atlantic. “Gotten” is still used up to this day by the people in the United States, America and Canada. However, “gotten” is labeled as “phased out” mostly in the UK and Britain.

What are the sentence examples with “Gotten”?

The usage of got and gotten differed depending on the context. Gotten, which is the past participle form of the verb, is preferred to be used in Canada and in the United States. Although got is used in all varieties as the simple past form, outside of North America, got is the preferred past participle of get. There are no other variations for the word gotten but it has synonyms that can be used in a different context. The usage of got and gotten differed depending on the context.  

When to use the word “Gotten” in a sentence?

It is crucial for writers and speakers to know when to use the word “gotten” in a sentence. The first example sentence for the words “have gotten” is, “I have gotten a ticket to see Seventeen this year.” “Have gotten” is used to show possession in the sentence. Second sentence example is, “You have gotten better at playing baseball.” The phrase “have gotten” is used in the sentence to show development. Lastly, “I’ve gotten my award for this year’s graduation.” which means acquired from somewhere. The phrase “has gotten” is sometimes used having the same meaning. However, when using “has gotten”, one must use ‘he/she’ as singular subjects. The last way of using gotten in a sentence is using had gotten as a perfect tense. It is created by combining had and the past participle together in a sentence. The past perfect tense of the word “get” is the “had gotten”. One synonym of gotten is harvested. Harvested is the past tense of harvest. Harvest means to pick and collect crops. There are numerous ways on how to use the word gotten in a sentence. The following are only used in North America and can have many meanings.

What are the synonyms of “Gotten”?

“Become” and “arrived” are the synonyms of the word “gotten”. “Become” is defined as “to start to become something” according to the Oxford Dictionary. For example, “I think I’ve become (gotten) good at math.” In this sentence, the speaker is saying that ‘he or she’ became good at math. “Arrived” is defined as “to get to a place, especially at the end of a journey, according to the Oxford Dictionary. The example sentences, “I have arrived (gotten) at my destination.”, denotes that the speaker has arrived at the location. The word “arrived” is used in the sentence to make it more understandable, instead of using the word “gotten”. There are no other variations for the word gotten. 

How is the pronunciation of “Get” and “Got”?

“Get” is pronounced as /get/ in both British and American English. The pronunciation of “got” is /ɡɒt/, in British English while in American English, “got” is pronounced as /ga:t/. The speaker has to open his/her mouth in a wider form to pronounce the /a/ in “got”, in American English, just like eating candy. In pronouncing the word “got” in British English, on the other hand, the speaker has to push back his/her tongue a little bit to make the oval sound. The shape of the mouth is leaning towards an oval shape. 

Comparison between “Get”, “Got” and “Gotten”

Listed below is the table that shows the comparison between the word “Get”, “Got” and “Gotten”.

English WordsDefinitionContextExample
Get“Get” means to obtain, to receive, or to buy.Used to explain when obtaining something.“Let’s get out of this hot place”

“Your father was not able to get your grades on time.”
Got“Got” means to buy, to obtain, or to receive.Past tense of “get.” It is used in British English.“Sam was sitting on the couch reading some books when I got into the room.”

“Paolo got up from his seat and stormed out.”
Gotten“Gotten” means to receive, to buy, or to obtain.Past participle of “get.” It is used in North American English“We were so sad when he died because we had gotten used to his hugs.”

“He’s gotten a cool haircut, that is why he looked pretty cool.”

Why are “Get”, “Got” and “Gotten” misused and interchangeably in English?

“Get,” “got,” and “gotten” are often overused rather than misused. The reason behind that is, in American English they use the words ‘getting’ and ‘gotting’ rather than words that are colorful. People use “getting” and “gotting” instead of using words that can make the sentence more understandable. There is a possibility for some words that are used for “getting” and “gotting” to disappear from the English vocabulary  when continuously ignored.

Are “Get”, “Got” and “Gotten” is the most commonly misused English words?

“Get”, “Got” and “Gotten” are not the most commonly misused English words. These words are sometimes confused with each other since they have similar spelling and similar pronunciation.   According to an article by Preply, 3 in 5 Americans find it hard to correct grammar and pronunciation. “Get”, “got” and “gotten” are not included in the list of “most misused words in English”. Some examples for misused English words are “are” vs “our”, “effect” vs “affect” and many more. 

What are the other similar Misused Word Pairs like “Get”, “Got” and “Gotten” in English?

Listed below are the Misused Word Pairs like ‘Get’, ‘Got’ and ‘Gotten’ in English. 

  • “Lay”, “Lie” and “Laid”: “Lay”, “Lie” and “Laid” are one of the most misused pairs in English because they sound alike even though they have different spellings. “Lay” is a word that describes an object being placed somewhere. “Lie” is a verb to describe reclining.  “Laid” is the past tense of lay. 
  • “Their”, “There” and “They’re”: ‘Their’, “There” and “They’re” are one if not the most misused pairs in English because not only the spelling of the words are the same but they sound exactly the same. “Their” is used to show possession. “There” is used to refer to a place. “They’re” is a contraction for ‘they are.
  • “Cloth”, “Clothe” and “Clothes”: The words “cloth”, “clothe” and “clothes” are often confused with each other because they have similar spelling and they sound the same. “Cloth” refers to the material that is used to make clothes. “Clothe” is a verb that refers to the action of putting on clothes. “Clothes” are materials made using cloth.

What are the things should a content writer consider in using the word “Get”, “Got” and “Gotten”?

“Get,” “got,” and “gotten” are considered as informal words and if used in content writing that is considered as grammatically wrong. “Get” is used when we ask for something. “Got” is the past tense and past participle of “get” and is considered as a slang. “Gotten” is the past participle of “get” in North America. The most used word in content writing among these three is “get”. Since it is easier to use, shorter to read and write. Content writers must consider using words that are easily understood by readers rather than using “get”, “got” and “gotten” since not all can understand the difference between the three. The usage of “get”, “got” and “gotten” depends on the context of the sentence. Content writers must focus more on using words that are fit for formal writing to encourage readers to use colorful words.

How do Content Writers use “Get”, “Got” and “Gotten” in their articles?

Content writers use the words “get,” “got” and “gotten” when writing an informal article but some content writers use the words “get” and “got” even though they are writing a formal article. Using these words will depend on the context of the sentence. It is grammatically correct to use the correct past tense of “to get” which is “got”. It is allowed for content writers to write ‘I got sick’ or ‘I may have gotten sick.”, say for example, since they are all correct.  Some content writers prefer to use words that describe sentences better. However, some writers use it in content writing since they believe that the words “get”, “got” and “gotten” are considered grammatically right.  It is important for content writers to know the difference between the three because using them in the wrong context, makes a different meaning to the sentence. 

Do Content Writers use “Get”, “Got” and “Gotten” in a wrong way?

No, content writers use the words “get”, “got” and “gotten” in the wrong way. Since content writers are considered as professionals, they know the difference between the three. However , there is a chance that they still use “get”, “got” and “gotten” in a different context that confuses their readers. There are content writers that use “get”, “got” and “gotten” but still make the readers understand the meaning of the whole article. “Get”, “got” and “gotten” have different meanings. Content writers have a wide knowledge with regards to the English vocabulary. Therefore, they can use different words that make their article understandable. 

Do Misused Words such as “Get”, “Got” and “Gotten” affect SEO and UX?

Yes, misused words such as “get”, “got” and “gotten” may affect SEO and UX because using these may change the meaning of one sentence in an article. It is crucial not to make mistakes in SEO and UX because the quality of the article is important, most especially to the consumers. One misused word or misspelled word may lead to loss of customers. Misused and misspelled words are crucial for SEO and UX because there is a high chance that those mistakes will tarnish the reputation of the company. Wrong grammar and punctuation are common in writing and that is why companies have people who regularly check the article before putting them out because posting articles that have grammatical errors is considered unprofessional. 

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Get, Got or Gotten: Difference between Them and How to Correctly Use them

by Holistic SEO time to read: 15 min