Could anyone please advise which is more natural and if there's any difference in meaning in these two sentences?

  • I left early to make sure I would have an allowance and wouldn't get stuck in the traffic.

  • I left early to make sure I would have an allowance and wouldn't be stuck in the traffic.


If you can be X, then you can say get X to express you (or someone else) are transitioning into state X. Often you can substitute become.

Once you are X, you have got X.

Traffic can be looked at from multiple perspectives. Bad traffic is something that can surround you, and therefore you would be stuck in it. An area of bad traffic is also something you can enter, and therefore you would get stuck in it.

So, it's two ways of expressing the same thing, though get stuck leans more toward implying you are willfully entering already bad traffic, versus traffic becoming bad as you travel.


"get stuck" is the proper choice of words and phrasing. "be stuck" would only be right in informal communication, like talking with friends or family.

  • In my opinion, this answer is entirely backwards. – Jeff Morrow Jan 9 '18 at 6:03
  • First off: "In your opinion"; oh ok! Second: drops no knowledge as to why you hold that "opinion" but has it anyway, and proceeds to down vote a valid answer! Prime example as to why stack exchange is so great. – Iam Pyre Jan 9 '18 at 6:06
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    "get stuck" is best, but the reason is different. It is because there is a change of state (not stuck in traffic --> stuck in traffic). be can only be used in the moment, which is not the case in the example. – user3169 Jan 9 '18 at 6:16
  • Neither answer nor first critical comment provided any rationale for their assertions. – Nathan Tuggy Jan 9 '18 at 8:27
  • It is not true that use of the modal "be" to form passives is restricted to initimates. As any English grammar will show, "be" as the modal for forming passives is standard. Forming passives using "get" as the modal is somewhat colloquial. Nor is it true that passives representing change of state require "get" as a modal rather than "be." "He was granted a doctorate by Harvard" is perfectly acceptable English even though it represents a change of state. – Jeff Morrow Jan 9 '18 at 13:04

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