One of the meanings of "get on" is to mount a car or to mount a vehicle or to mount etc. But there is not this meaning in the Longman dictionary and Oxford dictionary. Why?

closed as primarily opinion-based by James K, Davo, Hellion, shin, RubioRic Mar 4 at 8:21

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    Good question. Maybe these dictionaries don't consider "get on" to be an idiomatic expression - see definition 4.1 of "get", which is what you're looking for, I think en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/get - though I could see thinking that "to get on the bus" or "to get on the train" sound idiomatic, as you wouldn't literally get on top of them. – Mixolydian Feb 28 at 21:37
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    Unless someone from Longman or OUP wants to comment, I don't think this can be answered, only speculated upon. – James K Feb 28 at 21:46
  • But definition 4.1 of "get" in Oxford is about "get into", not "get on" – Darman Feb 28 at 21:51
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    @Darman see the "+More example sentences" - there are other prepositional phrases used there too, e.g. ‘Dreams were destroyed when a person decided to get behind the wheel after drinking.’ – Mixolydian Mar 1 at 3:56

Dictionaries vary based on whether the lexicographer considers a particular phrase a special case or not. In some dictionaries, they consider "get on" a special case, a phrasal verb. In others, they consider it a normal usage of one of the senses of get that they list.

It's used as readily in British as American English, it's just dictionaries with different approaches.


It's in Cambridge

get on (sth)

phrasal verb with get

present participle getting
past tense got
past participle got or (USA) usually gotten ​

A2 to go onto a bus, train, aircraft, or boat:

I think we got on the wrong bus.
Pay the driver as you get on.
Show your boarding pass as you get on.
When he heard the news, Simon got on the next train to London.
The old woman had difficulty getting on to the bus.
A lot of people usually get on the train at Cambridge.

Get on (sth)

  • Yes, thank you. But this is odd for me that there is not in those dictionaries. Is it true that this meaning of "get on" is not in America but in English? – Darman Feb 28 at 22:07
  • @Darman Get on has a specific entry in Merriam-Webster. – Jason Bassford Feb 28 at 22:31
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    @JasonBassford the meanings of "get on" in Merriam-Webster are not the ones Darman is looking for. And Darman - this meaning of "get on" is definitely used in American English. – Mixolydian Mar 1 at 3:58
  • @Mixolydian I was pointing out that get on is listed as separate entry in the dictionary, I wasn't talking about the specific meaning. In fact, I was partially responding to your own comment that said "Maybe these dictionaries don't consider 'get on' to be an idiomatic expression." That it is listed in MW at all, means that MW does consider it to be an idiomatic expression. But "get on" in the specific sense in the question is not—because it means nothing more or less than what the individual words mean. Which is already defined by the combination of those two words. – Jason Bassford Mar 1 at 14:26
  • @JasonBassford got it - yes, I misspoke in saying that 'get on' is not considered to be an idiomatic expression (or phrasal verb) by these dictionaries - I meant only that this specific meaning of 'get on' is not. Other meanings of 'get on' like 'get along' do in fact have their own definitions. – Mixolydian Mar 1 at 23:10

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