I can understand "get something from someone", but am confused about the meaning of "get something to someone".

For example, an excerpt from a NBC interview of Mr. Ron Klain:

Well, the president-elect had a conversation with Speaker Pelosi and Leader Schumer on Friday and they talked about the need to get urgent action. I mean, we need action during the lame duck. There's a lot of things that are going to have to wait until Joe Biden is president, but this is not one of them. Getting help to people, getting help to state and local governments, I mean, it’s not -- obviously, we need urgent help to individuals, but we're going to see layoffs of police, of firefighters, of teachers in the next month in a lot of states and localities unless these local governments get the aid they need.

Another example from: link

“It’s about getting livelihoods to people who have lost everything and doing it the right way to ensure inclusive growth,” Johnson said.

I couldn't locate the usage in any of my dictionaries. Is it an idiom?

1 Answer 1


This is not an idiom, it's just one of the standard uses of the verb to get. If you look up the get in the dictionary, one of the definitions is:

3 b : to obtain and bring where wanted or needed

So in the usage get something to someone, it means that you are obtaining something and bringing it to someone who wants or needs it. You can use this definition of get with other prepositions as well: "get something from somewhere," "get something for a purpose," etc.

In your first example, the speaker is taking about obtaining help (in particular, government money) and bringing it where it is needed; that is, to both individual people and to state and local governments.

  • 1
    You could parse it as “supply something to someone”
    – jwpfox
    Nov 24, 2020 at 23:59
  • It's funny to say it "parsing" because it sounds mechanical but "to supply" seems like the way how I usually understood "to get something to someone". :) Dec 9, 2022 at 16:40

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