For example, what is the difference between "Will you get to know your daughter" and "Will you know your daughter"?

In what situations do you use "get to"?

  • This is a difficult question to answer, because of the different meanings of know: "be aware of a fact"; "recognise or be able to identify"; "be familiar with a person's interests and likes". The answers or different in these different cases. – Colin Fine Oct 30 '20 at 11:21
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    To 'get to know' a person means to become better acquainted with them; a rather odd expression to use of a daughter unless the parent was separated from her during her childhood. – Kate Bunting Oct 30 '20 at 11:31

"Get to know" is a phrasal verb meaning "start to be familiar with someone or something". We have to get to know people we have never met before, or, perhaps, have not seen since childhood. To simply "know" someone can have a number of meanings, but in the future tense (e.g. "will you know someone") can mean "to recognize someone or something"

Get to know (phrase)

Know (verb)


You use "get to" when talking about a process leading to a stage where you can say that the action of the main verb is true.

This can be in a context when you are conscious there exists a situation that hinders the process involved (here, to know someone) and that you want to make clear that you know that and that you refer to the process as conditional to that hindrance. It can also be in a context where there is no hindrance to talk about.

From OALD, 15

[intransitive] get to do something to reach the point at which you feel, know, are, etc. something

  • After a time you get to realize that these things don't matter.
  • You'll like her once you get to know her.
  • His drinking is getting to be a problem.
  • She's getting to be an old lady now.

In the first two examples the hindrance is that some time is necessary in order to learn certain things. There is no such context in the last two examples.

One more example

  • Will you get to finish your homework before we eat diner? (It seems that there is a lot of homework to be done.)
  • Will you finish your home to night or will you have to go on with your exercises tomorrow ? (It is not known how much homework has to be done.)
  • Will you finish your homework tonight or will you do that tomorrow? (It is not known what choice has been made.)
  • thanks for your answer. Can you give me some examples – faraza Oct 30 '20 at 10:55
  • @faraza I added an example and cases contrasting with its context (where "get" is more likely). – LPH Oct 30 '20 at 11:05
  • When I say, "I knew about it", the act of knowing sounds like an unhindered one, whereas, when say, "I got to know about it", it may sound that the act of knowing had one or more steps to it. – Ram Pillai Oct 30 '20 at 11:32

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