A very versatile verb that native English uses a great deal but is often forgotten about by non-natives: to get. Both transitive and intransitive usages are commonplace.
I suspect that there’s also a tendency to avoid it because people aren’t sure how colloquial the word is: the answer is that you might avoid it in contractual legalese or very formal reports, but elsewhere it’s fine. Here are a few common usages (of the dozens that the dictionaries list!) with examples plucked from my own previous posts for good measure:
- to become, turn into, change
Don’t get personal.
…before it gets dark.
…a meteorological website getting confused
…without getting sidetracked
- to obtain, acquire
Getting the picture, not painting it.
…getting Clare a beamer for Christmas
- to happen, move, cause
…able to get abroad after the lockdown
…getting in the way
…get rid of
- to be given, receive, catch
I also get the impression that Dutch writers avoid…
get it wrong, get it right
- passive voice auxiliary
If the ozone layer didn’t exist, we’d get fried.
…the same phrase tends to get repeated a lot
…the two commonest often get mixed up
I can now see that I’ve used it at least once in nearly two thirds of all the posts! A prime example of an area where you will improve if you attempt to put the semantic content straight into English, rather than concentrating on the syntax of word-for-word.
Prevalence: endemic. Not top-of-mind for the majority of authors – understandably enough.
Frequency: very high. Will usually occur multiple times in a document, given what a common word “get” is.
Native: no. We have no difficulty with it (except for the US-UK issue of gotten–got).