Can "get" be used as a linking verb in a context of a gradual change?

For instance, instead of saying:

She came/grew to like him more.

Can I say:

She got to like him more.

  • It's certainly a usage I have heard, but I wouldn't use it myself. I would call it colloquial - and it seems to me to be American (though that may not be reliable).
    – Colin Fine
    Commented Nov 20, 2018 at 15:12
  • American here. This is used, but not to indicate gradual change. You would use "got" to indicate something obtained or a change in state. "She got her coat." or "She got tired." But it's in the past, so it has already happened. You could say, "She began to get to like him," but it is still rather verbose way of simply saying "She came/grew to like him."
    – Neil
    Commented Nov 20, 2018 at 15:15
  • @Neil This is a good comment, but it would be an even better answer!
    – Tashus
    Commented Nov 20, 2018 at 16:09

1 Answer 1


It is certainly in usage in southern England where I live, and without performing extensive investigations, I'll point you towards the lyrics for the Rogers and Hammerstein musical "The King and I" and the song "Getting to Know You"


Contextually the King and Anna have spent a good deal of time together and during that time:

It's a very ancient saying But a true and honest thought That if you become a teacher By your pupils you'll be taught As a teacher I've been learning You'll forgive me if I boast And I've now become an expert On the subject I like most

Getting to know you. Getting to know you. Getting to know all about you. Getting to like you. Getting to hope you like me.

If you'll pardon me, I'm just getting used to formatting my posts. (As in "growing accustomed to doing it over some period of time").

I'd just gotten used to my new keyboard after months of practice, then my sister ruined it by spilling coffee on it.

I just got used to my new keyboard after months of practice, then my sister ruined it by spilling coffee on it.

"They just changed the road sign on seventh did you see?"

"Sure you'll get used to it in a couple of weeks."

  • I would say get to know and get used to are idioms; get to is not productive in that sense. There's another sense of "manage to", or "achieve", or "be able to" which is productive.
    – Colin Fine
    Commented Jul 21, 2020 at 22:40

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