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In the dictionary

make: to force somebody to do something

make somebody do something They made me repeat the whole story.


get: [transitive] to make, persuade, etc. somebody/something to do something

get somebody/something to do something: He got his sister to help him with his homework.

Are these 2 sentences interchangeable: "my mom made me do chores" and "my mom got me to do chores"?

3 Answers 3

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The definition of "make" that you found is about right - you force someone to do something physically, or by threat, or something similarly coercive and nasty.

But there's a nuance that's missing from the provided definition of to "get" somebody to do something. The nuance is that the method by which the result is achieved is completely unspecified and unknown. So:

My mom made me do chores

means that she achieved the result of your doing chores by threatening to punish you for not doing them, whereas

My mom got me to do chores

means only that she achieved this result (i.e., without stating the means by which she achieved it). Maybe she threatened you, maybe she paid you, maybe she just asked you nicely. We don't know unless further details are provided.

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    Could we say a difference is the implication of getting consent? I would interpret being "made" to do something as being compelled to do it without any pretense of obtaining my consent, whereas if someone "got" somebody to do something I'd assume they probably found some way of getting the person to go along with it willingly, even if they were compensated or otherwise somehow coerced. Jul 28 at 18:16
  • I would say, there's an implication, but a weak implication. If she "got" you to do chores, it's probably more likely it was with a bribe, but if she told you to do chores or you're grounded, it wouldn't be wrong to say, either. Thus, I agree with cruthers, the method is unspecified. I do agree completely, in the case of "made me", the strong implication is that it was not simply a request, whereas in the "got me to" case, it's also left unstated how forceful the request was.
    – neminem
    Jul 29 at 18:36
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       to make someone do something

The person performing the task has no choice in the matter. They have to obey instructions or face the consequences.

  • The police made me walk in a straight line (a rudimentary exercise to determine someone's state of inebriety)

  • His mum would always make him finish eating his greens (vegetables)  

      to get someone to do something

The person performing the task agreed or was persuaded to do the task. It could be a reluctant decision but (usually) there is no duress involved.

  • I finally got him to come to the party.
  • Could you get her to call me back later, please?
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Parents (especially from a child's viewpoint) very often employ force, while the parent wouldn't necessarily see it the same way.

So the child talking to a friend about why he didn't show up at the park might say "Mom made me do chores all day", while the mother talking with a friend might very well say about that same day, "I finally got him to do his chores".

With these two examples in mind, it is easy to see that either can be correct.

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