The passive with GET

get + past participle

Get is often used instead of be in the passive voice in informal spoken English to refer to an action that happens by accident or unexpectedly:

Their car got stolen in front of their house last night.
Jerry got fired because he was always late for work.

Get expresses action and change and is only used with action verbs, not state verbs:

Jerry was fired because he was always late for work.
Jerry got fired because he was always late for work.
(fire is an action verb)

Nothing is known about the thief.
Nothing gets known about the thief. (know is a state verb)

As get in the passive voice expresses action, it makes it possible to differentiate between an action and a state if it is not otherwise clear:

The living room window was broken. (state or action)
The living room window got broken.
(action)

The passive with be and the agent mentioned also makes the distinction clear:

The living room window was broken by the burglar. (action)

A reflexive pronoun after get indicates that the recipient of the action is in some way involved in or responsible for what happened:

He got injured while playing football. (it was an accident)
He got himself injured while trying bike stunts.
(it was partly his fault)

The get passive is also used in certain idiomatic expressions:

Idiomatic expressions with the get passive
get dressed
get washed
get engaged
get married
get divorced
get lost
get mixed up
get started

I took a shower and got dressed.
When did they get married?
Have you ever got lost while travelling?

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