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Do these phrases have the same meaning?

"we got angry" and "we were angered"

2 Answers 2

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They are different in several ways.

First, the verb "anger" (and its participle "angered") are rather literary words, not much used in ordinary speech. In speech "angry" is much more common than "angered".

Secondly, the verb "get" to mean "become" is quite colloquial, so its use is inconsistent with the more formal register of "angered". "We got angry" is in an everyday register, but "We were angered" is in a formal one.

Thirdly, the difference in meaning is that "We were angered/angry" refers to a state we were in, whereas "We got angry" refers to a process of becoming angry.

Dwili's answer assumes that "we were angered" is not a state (using the adjective "angered") but a passive meaning "something angered us". This is possible, but I think it is even less likely than the stative meaning.

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These phrases both can mean that we developed a feeling of anger if used in the right contexts. However, there could be subtle differences in meaning as well.

If 'we were angered' is written in a sentence with the passive voice it means that we became angry.

We were angered by the tone of his voice.

This sentence also means that we became angry.

We got angry at the tone of his voice.

However, the difference is that in the first case there is an outside agent causing the anger and in the second case we are the agent of the anger grammatically.

The word 'angered' can also be used as an adjective without an outside agent making the sentence passive, which gives the sentence a slightly different meaning. In this case, 'angered' is a steady state. It talks about a feeling that was not changing rather than one that was developing in the moment.

We were angered all day due to the weather.

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