In South Park s19e02, there is the following dialog:

1) - The X has been fu**ed to death. 
- Yes! Yes!
- What? Are you sure? 
- What is it, Thomas? 
2) - The X got fu**ed to death, darling.

The first sentence seems to be Present Perfect, Passive voice.

But what tense is used in the second sentence?

Is it Present Simple, or Passive voice with got used as a Modal verb?

  • 3
    Sentence 2 is in Simple Past and it has a "get-passive". Commented Dec 17, 2016 at 22:01

2 Answers 2


Got in example 2 is the simple past tense of get.

Got is never a modal.

X get(s) Y'ed means "X undergoes an event where the end result is that we can say X is Y'ed."

I got blessed with 20 dollars = I underwent an event where the end result is that I am blessed with 20 dollars

There is have got, and the got here in this expression emphasizes have in any of its meanings but not where have is being used in a perfect tense. Had got doesn't work.

I have 10 dollars.

I have got 10 dollars.

I have to talk to John.

I have got to talk to John.

I have talked to Jerry.

I have got talked to Jerry (doesn't work).


"Got" is a form of "get", which is not a modal verb. It is a light verb.

As CowperKettle says, sentence 2 is in the (simple) past tense, the same tense as a sentence like "The Canadian president died." It is a "get-passive".

  • It's not an auxiliary at all. It doesn't participate in subject–auxiliary inversion (Did I get hit by a car? but not *Got I hit by a car?) or negate (I didn't get hit by a car but not *I got not hit by a car) or pass any other tests that would indicate auxiliaryhood.
    – user230
    Commented Dec 17, 2016 at 22:21

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