I need to ask my colleague to get the approval from his manager for something to process further.. Which of the below sentences are appropriate in this scenario?

  1. Please get the approval from Donald to proceed.
  2. Please get this request approved from Donald to proceed.
  3. Please get this request approved by Donald to proceed.
  • “We need approval from Donald”. To proceed seems to be superfluous. – Andrew Tobilko Mar 7 '19 at 9:37

get (approval) -> from

"Get" in this context requires "from", same as in:

Get the book from the shelf.

(to) approve -> by

"(To) approve" is a verb and requires "by".

Therefore 1 and 3 are correct, 2 is wrong.


Approval is a noun. Think of it like a physical object that you have to obtain by asking someone for it. If you needed Bob to give you a book, you would say:

I need to get the book from Bob.

Just the same for approval, for all that it is not generally a physical object:

I need to get approval from Bob.

Approved is the past tense/past participle of the verb to approve, and you want to say who is doing something. That uses the preposition by to indicate the actor:

I need to get it approved by Bob.

The essence of the difference is that one is a verb, and the other is a noun. This means that get is a different sense in each case - one is in the sense of to obtain, and the other is the sense of to cause.

  • look at your first example more carefully: "from" is not related to "approval", but to "get". And that is already my answer - I made the same mistake in the first version of my answer:D – virolino Mar 7 '19 at 10:08
  • 2
    @virolino the issue of the difference between the two is ultimately that one is a verb and the other is a noun - hence the different sense of "get" in each. Clarified in answer. – SamBC Mar 7 '19 at 10:14
  • Your point is correct, but only partially. As I said, please read your first example: there is no "approval", but there is "from". The change approval <-> approved makes the next word (from / by) relate to different entities (both of the entities being verbs: get and approved). – virolino Mar 7 '19 at 10:17

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