Which one is better

getting lost (e.g. I warned her about getting lost in the maze)


becoming lost (e.g. I warned her about becoming lost in the maze)

Or are they equally good, and, in that case: is there a difference between them?

As always, I'm very gateful for any help I can get :)


2 Answers 2


We were always taught in school never to use the word "get" but use an alternative instead.

Hence while it is natural, idiomatic and colloquial to talk about "getting lost", the English teachers of the world would say, "No, no, no - you don't get lost, you become lost."

But nobody would actually say "become lost" in real conversation.

  • Himm... Personally, I would be equally likely to use "becoming" instead of "getting"
    – maxbear123
    Jan 21, 2021 at 12:57
  • 1
    @maxbear123 Britspeak is different from American! To us "becoming lost" would be unbearably pretentious. Jan 21, 2021 at 13:02
  • 1
    In formal writing we were told to avoid "get" if possible, but not in everyday speech. We tell children not to get lost. But perhaps by the time I myself went to school Eden Kane's 1961 hit "Get Lost (but get lost in my arms)" had completely rewritten the rule book. Jan 21, 2021 at 13:25

To me (native American-English speaker), these are both equally natural in this context and mean the same thing. In other contexts, however, they may not be equivalent.

E.G. "He was getting over his divorce." vs "He was becoming over his divorce." (here "getting" is the only acceptable way)

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