I'm playing a visual novel video game in which you are a detective and I investigate an amusement park where a crime was committed. One of the options is to investigate a roof of a merry-go-round that is in a bad condition. This is the dialogue from my partner I get when clicking on a roof.

"It's been eight years since Bloom Park closed. The weather's gotten to it pretty bad."

TFD def for "get to" 4. Influence or affect, especially adversely, as in This loud music really gets to me, or Mother's crying always gets to him

This definition could fit as the park could be affected adversely by weather, therefore, leading to its deterioration but the examples from the dictionary suggest that it's used for people, not things. Is this the correct definition for this sentence? Does it mean that the weather influenced it pretty bad?

  • The idiomatic usage X got to / got at Y generally means X attacked Y, but that doesn't necessarily imply X is a conscious entity capable of volitional acts (i.e. - deliberately damaging). For example, leaking battery acid could "get at/to" an electronic circuit, eating away the contacts and permanently damaging your device. Nov 21, 2021 at 14:22
  • FumbleFingers: In your example with a leaking battery does get to mean simply "reach"? Nov 21, 2021 at 15:51
  • Bugs in a garden can get to the plants. Your comments really get to me. etc. etc.
    – Lambie
    Oct 24, 2022 at 15:22

2 Answers 2


Merriam-Webster says:

2 : to have an effect on

It means, "The weather has had a pretty bad effect on it."

  • Merriam Webster 2: to have an effect on: such as a: INFLUENCE b: BOTHER :Gotube are you shure both of these definitions don't refer to people? Nov 23, 2021 at 22:54
  • 1
    @StaticBounce Honestly, I'm not sure how we're supposed to read that entry. I understood it as "to have an effect on" is the complete definition, and INFLUENCE and BOTHER are some particular sub-meanings, rather than the only two ways that definition works. But perhaps your reading of it is the way it's intended. Either way, "to have an effect on" is the meaning of "get to it" in your example sentence
    – gotube
    Nov 23, 2021 at 23:00
  • @StaticBounce Here, the park, but the idiom can be used for people to.
    – Lambie
    Nov 7, 2023 at 17:19

To get to something can also mean to manage to reach it, touch it or take hold of it or disturb it, or do damage to it.

"The body appeared then to have been dead two or three days. Hogs had gotten to it and partially eaten it."


Don't leave scissors where a toddler can get to them.

Rain water and water from snow melt will find its way into even the smallest fissures in a building or structure, and when rain "gets to" the building, making its way past defenses against the elements like paint and caulk, it can rot wood and destroy the building or structure.

  • Yeah, but the question is whether the sentence in the context conveys the meaning of "reach" or "affect" or both. So which on is it? Going by my non-native-speaker feeling I would say that "affect" fits perfectly. Nov 8, 2023 at 18:49
  • It's making contact, not merely coming up to something and stopping, like reaching a door and not entering. But feel freee to go by your non-native speaker feeling. Water doesn't "bother" a building, it ruins it. "get to" in the sense of "the loud music is getting to me" is a figurative use of "get to". With water and weather, it is a literal use of "get to". Nov 8, 2023 at 22:32
  • So both. Thank you. Nov 19, 2023 at 11:03

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