Saying various uses of "get"

Saying various uses of "get"


Ok, if any of you are english speakers, I'm sure as you were trying to learn spanish you realized how often we use the word "get" and how spanish doesn't really have that. I got really frustrated at clinic today because I was trying to tell a hispanic patient "we are not sure where you can GET your results." I tried to use "Obtener" but she kind of looked at me funny.

So my question is, what kinda of verbs would I use in the following situations?

"Get me that." (Traer'')
"You can get your results from your doctor."
"I need to get some bread at the store."
"I am getting a haircut today"....and so on

The only thing I have found actually translated as "get" is conseguir but I am not sure of the usuge. THANKS!

updated DIC 22, 2011
posted by Ashlita

4 Answers


The verb "to get" is impossible to translate into any language, as it has over 30 or 40 meanings.

"Get me that." - Tráeme eso / consígueme eso / pásame eso...
"You can get your results from your doctor." - Puedes conseguir/obtener los resultados de tu doctor.
"I need to get some bread at the store." - Tengo que comprar pan en la tienda.
"I am getting a haircut today"....and so on - Me voy a cortar el pelo hoy.

You have to chose a verb to replace "get", and then look it up in the dictionary. "To get" means virtually everthing!

"To get" can be translated as:

adquirir, andar, apasionar, buscar, captar, cargar, cazar, cobrar, coger, comprar, comprender, comunicar, conseguir, darse, detener, detener, empezar, encontrar, fastidiar, ganar, granjearse, hacer, hacerse, hacerse, ir, largarse, lograr, llamar, llevarse, mandar, marcar, obtener, pagar, pasar, poner, ponerse, prender, preparar, procurar, recibir, sacar, sintonizar, tener, traer, trasladar, valer, volverse...

In English, too, you can replace "get" with over 30 different verbs depending on the meaning.

This verb puts the "smurf" word to shame!

updated DIC 22, 2011
posted by lazarus1907

A simplistic, but useful, approach to "get" is to break it up into 2 distinct uses/meanings. One is usually in the form of a phrasal verb and carries a sense of action as in "move" mover.

The other, not followed by a preposition, has a sense of catch/grab coger.

Let's look at how this works: first as phrasal verb form= verb + preposition

Here are some examples:

In the morning I get up ---------------------- ----------I get out of bed -------Later I get into the car ------------I get to work about 8:30

If you use the concept of mover here it all makes sense. Generally any use of get followed by a preposition will have this sense. Try to invent your own using prepositions, you will be surprised how often you are right. Try "under", "over" "through" for example.

Now we turn to the coger idea, "get" without the preposition: examples:

I get the bus at 8 every morning ----------- ---------------What marks did you get in the exam? ------------Did you get some bread when you went shopping? -------------I forgot to get the wine and so on

I hope this is helpful.

updated DIC 22, 2011
edited by lagartijaverde
posted by lagartijaverde
The idea is you can produce verbs that have the "flavour" of mover or coger and make a perfectly accurate translation. - lagartijaverde, DIC 22, 2011

Rodney, you have resurrected an old thread..... Lazarus has another article about "get" that he wrote after this thread was started. You can read it here

updated DIC 22, 2011
posted by Jack-OBrien

This topic is always confusing. Last night I was in the store and I was trying to think of how I would ask a sales associate to get me some merchandise that was locked up. Would consiguir be the correct choice in this case?

Podria consiguirme "algo"

And are there other options?

updated DIC 22, 2011
posted by rodneyp
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