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I know the meaning and usage of "get late" in "It's getting late, I've got to go" Now I am wondering if it is correct to use the phrase "get late" in this sentence: "Sorry I got late for school today" or rather "Sorry I got late to school today" or "Sorry I arrived late at school today".Which is correct? In the same way, is it correct to use it like this: "He is running because he is afraid of getting late for school on the first day (of school)" Thanks you all.

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Sentence: "It's getting late, I've got to go"

That's idiomatic, yes. The entire phrase refers to time: it's getting late. The it is called a dummy pronoun and refers to a time. Dummy pronouns are used a lot in English: "It's odd that you think my letter is good."

However, a person is late. A person does not "get late". A person can get other things though: get rich, get poor, get tired. In this usage the verb get means become.

I am late for school. It got late. [it=time expressed with dummy pronoun].

  • You seem to have opposite takes on a person getting late. Could you tell me more on this? – zenith3 Nov 18 '18 at 18:22
  • I mean you two! – zenith3 Nov 18 '18 at 18:23
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You can get to school late.

And when you're running late, you're afraid of being late for school or of getting to school late.

Notice the different placement of the word late.

We don't say get late to school. not idiomatic Rather, you get to school late.

But you can "get late for school" as the result of some delay.

  • You seem to have opposite takes on a person getting late. Could you tell me more on this? – zenith3 Nov 18 '18 at 18:23
  • I mean you two! – zenith3 Nov 18 '18 at 18:23
  • That's because of his last line. He means: It can get late for school. Meaning: It's too late to go to school. So, there is no disagreement. "It's getting late for that." – Lambie Nov 18 '18 at 18:53
  • Or "late for school" is your state. You can become late for school if you experience a delay. There is a roadblock because of an accident, and you can say "Now I am late for school" because "I got delayed". That is not the same as arriving late: I will get to school late. – Tᴚoɯɐuo Nov 18 '18 at 20:15

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