1

How do these expressions differ?
Does one of them sound more forceful to you?
For instance, in the following sentence, does using each one make any change in meaning:

  1. What are you trying to get across to me?
  2. What are you trying to get through to me?
1
  1. "Get {something} across to {somebody}"

means "Present {something} in a way that {somebody} can understand", or "Explain in a way that {somebody} shows they understand". The phrasing assumes that the problem is a difference in language or assumptions. For example, science teachers often have a hard time getting quantum mechanics concepts across to their students.

  1. "Get {something} through to {somebody}"

means "Force {somebody} to accept that {something} is true", or "Convince." The phrasing assumes that {somebody} is resisting the idea of {something}. For example, football coaches sometimes need to get through to their players that academics are important -- and that if a student doesn't earn good grades, the student won't be allowed to play football.

Thus, "get {something} through to {somebody}" is more forceful.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.