What is the difference between and when to use them? 1. I got my hair stuck in the nail 2. My hair got stuck in the nail

I Know about this 1. I got my hair cut - Means - Having some one else do the hair cut 2. I cut my hair - Means - doing the hair cut by the same person

  • The sequence [subject] got [object] [past tense verb] usually implies ...by someone else. But not always - a statement such as I [finally] got my homework finished [last night] wouldn't normally be understood as meaning I had someone else finish it for me (but in a contrived context, it might mean that). Commented Mar 20, 2018 at 17:05
  • Neither option is natural. “In a nail” would mean inside the nail, which doesn’t make any sense. Getting something stuck in/on/to something implies either that 1) the something is capable of exerting pressure from more than one side at a time (finger stuck in a door, hand stuck in a jar, shoe stuck in snow/mud/sand); or 2) the something is highly sticky or adhesive (pancake stuck on the ceiling, picture stuck to the wall). Hair on a nail is neither—you don’t get your hair stuck on a nail. You be more likely to say your hair catches (or gets caught) on a nail. Commented Mar 20, 2018 at 17:50
  • Also look up information on "passive" in English.
    – GEdgar
    Commented Mar 20, 2018 at 18:53

1 Answer 1


Regarding your two examples:

  1. I got my hair stuck in the nail.

  2. My hair got stuck in the nail.

The former specifies that you are responsible, by usage of the pronoun "I" as the subject (actor) of the sentence.

The latter leaves open as to who is responsible; it could be you, or another person, or the outcome of circumstances (maybe the wind blew your hair).

Regarding this usage of "got" (past tense of "get"):


3.1 [as auxiliary verb] Used with past participle to form the passive mood. ‘the cat got drowned’

American Heritage:

v. intr. 3. b. Used with the past participle of transitive verbs as a passive voice auxiliary: got stung by a bee.

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