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sentence: "It wasn't going well at first, but it's got better now"

Something feels wrong with it, but it's like, I've heard people use it or something like it before, so I'm not sure if it's grammatically okay or not.

Feels like it should be "It's gotten better now" or "It's getting better now, but I don't understand why that is.

corrected the original sentence from "It wasn't going well at first, but it got better now." to "It wasn't going well at first, but it's got better now." (It was a typo)

  • Note that your suggested alternative It's gotten better now is a shortened version of It has gotten better now. Many Americans make some subtle distinction between got and gotten (to do with ownership, I think), but I don't know how that relates to the example here. But as a Brit, I'd probably just say It's better now (where 's = is). – FumbleFingers Reinstate Monica Apr 7 '18 at 18:25
  • @FumbleFingers I speak American English, and I'd say, "I've got two cars," but I wouldn't say "I've gotten two cars." Is that what you mean? – godel9 Apr 7 '18 at 18:39
  • I've got two cars means I have two cars, in BrE and AmE. The verb have has two forms in the present tense in English. There is nothing wrong in saying in AmE: I've gotten two cars. That is correct. Where got means buy, for instance. Or even: to receive as a gift. The Brits would say there: I've got two cars. And only context will tell you it the speaker means: simple present of have or present perfect of get. Tricky, huh? – Lambie Apr 7 '18 at 19:30
  • The distinction I see: The "gotten" participle is used with the copular, dynamic sense of "to get", as in "I've gotten better". The "got" participle is used with the transitive, stative sense of "to get", as in "I've got a lovely bunch of coconuts". The form "I've got better" does not mean that I'm in better shape -- it means that I obtained and still retain some (direct) object that is better. – Gary Botnovcan Apr 7 '18 at 19:42
  • @GaryBotnovcan Before one gets into that sort of explanation, one needs to point out the principal parts of the verb get. British and American English here are not the same, though the idiom is: a situation is said to get better in both. But: get/got/gotten=AmE; get/got/got=BrE. – Lambie Apr 7 '18 at 19:48
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Your intuition is correct. The sentence “It got better now” is incorrect, and the other two are correct.

Simple Past

The reason the first sentence is incorrect is that it is in the simple past, which is incompatible with the word now. You wouldn’t say “It got better now” any more than you would say “I went to the store now.”

It got better in the past, but it may or may not be better right now.

Present Pefect and Present Continuous

Your other sentences are correct because they’re in the present perfect and present continuous, respectively.

The present perfect means that it got better at some point in the past, but more importantly it’s still better right now.

The present continuous means that it’s still in the process of getting better. It may not be completely better yet.

In either of these cases, the sentence is still making a comment on the present state of things, so “now” is appropriate.

  • As always, I'd appreciate an explanation for the downvote. Maybe I can improve the answer? Thanks! – godel9 Apr 7 '18 at 19:41
  • I don't thing you explain what is really going on. Sorry. You say one is wrong and two are right and do not explain the mechanisms, nor the tenses, nor the difference between AmE and BrE with get. – Lambie Apr 8 '18 at 16:28
  • @Lambie Not that I don't appreciate you trying to help, but his or her answer was more digestible and clearer. Sorry. But your answer just confused me. – strawberries Apr 12 '18 at 1:13
  • @strawberries Many do not understand the difference between the BrE and AmE usage here of the verb get. Now you have changed your question: It's got better now is correct in British English. – Lambie Apr 17 '18 at 13:53
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"It wasn't going well at first, but it got better now"

Correction for both BrE and AmE: "It wasn't going well at first, but it's got better now" [BrE]

"It wasn't going well at first, but it's gotten better now" [AmE]

In BrE, the present perfect of to get [adjective] = has/have + got [adjective]. get/got/got

In AmE, the present perfect of to get [adjective]= has gotten [adjective]. In fact, the PP of get is gotten. get/got/gotten

British English no longer uses gotten as the past participle of get.

"It wasn't going well at first, but it's getting better now"

present continuous- That sentence is fine in BrE or AmE English. There is no difference.

"It wasn't going well at first, but it got better yesterday." That one also is fine in both. It is simple past.

  • Interesting distinction between AmE/BrE. I wasn't aware. :-) By the way, as @FumbleFingers pointed out, there seems to be an exception for statements of ownership, e.g. "I've got two cars" [AmE]. – godel9 Apr 7 '18 at 19:40
  • I have no idea what was meant. In AmE and in BrE there are two ways to express owning (having something) and I believe I explained it pretty straightforwardly. Unless one has been on the front trenches of teaching English, generally, one doesn't necessarily have this at the front of one's mind. – Lambie Apr 7 '18 at 19:46

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