I know "divorced" could be an "adjective" but can I say "they got divorced" as in "They became divorced".

Secondly i believe here in this sentence "got divorced" is used as in "became divorced" "They got divorced after only six months of marriage"

But If "Got divorced" has been used in this sentence in the sense of "was divorced" then it won't be an adjective but a passive voice.

Am i correct?

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    Note that the "helper" verb to get is effectively optional in, for example, They [got] divorced last year. Same as They [got] married last year. Oct 13, 2022 at 15:26
  • @FumbleFingers when you say "They got divorced" will you interpret it "they became married" or "they were married"/as passive Oct 13, 2022 at 15:40
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    I'm not clear exactly what you mean by "passive" there. They [got] married last year ALWAYS refers to the fact of the having gone through the marriage ceremony last year, regardless of whether got is present or not. But whereas They were married last year COULD be used with that same meaning, it's also perfectly possible to say something like They were [still] married last year when I met them, but they might have [got / gotten] divorced since then (in which context their actual marriage ceremony might have been decades ago). Does that help? Oct 13, 2022 at 17:31
  • get + adjective stands in for many things, among them: become some state or condition. However, to get married is also: to be married: We were married yesterday.
    – Lambie
    Oct 13, 2022 at 21:48

2 Answers 2


You are right. In a divorced man it's an adjective, in they got divorced it's a verb (a court of law divorced them).

  • thanks could you also tell me pls if one can say "I became divorced" i think we cannot say "i became divorced" and "got divorced" can never mean " I became divorced" Oct 13, 2022 at 14:38
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    'I became divorced' sounds a little odd to me, but I'd hesitate to say that it was definitely wrong. Oct 13, 2022 at 14:53
  • My "inner grammarian" doesn't parse We got married yesterday as implying someone else (a pastor or civil official) transitively "married" us. Any more than I got drunk last night implies someone else "caused" my drunken condition. I'll also say that the semantics of becoming married are problematic to me as well (but there's nothing wrong with the syntax of I became married last week; it's just "weird"). Oct 13, 2022 at 17:35
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    @FumbleFingers - That's interesting - mine does. I was going to say that you become tired, fat, afraid etc but you don't become married or divorced - then I realised that you do 'become a citizen of [a country]' through a ceremony, so there isn't an absolute distinction. Oct 13, 2022 at 17:51
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    To me, neither I got married yesterday nor I got drunk yesterday carry any implications of someone else being responsible for my state / experience / actions. They're all about what I did, which isn't really the same as I got fired / mugged / told off yesterday (all about what happened to me; my experience; what someone else did to me). (But your "become a citizen" is a truly inspired "counter example"! :) Oct 13, 2022 at 18:41

'Divorced' can be used as an adjective. In 'a divorced woman', 'divorced' modifies the noun 'woman'.

We don't normally say "they became divorced". We can say "they got divorced".

'Get divorced' cannot be used in passive voice. We can use 'get' in idiomatic expressions which are not passive in meaning.

get engaged, get married, get divorced, get washed, get dressed, get changed, get started

[ We sometimes use 'get' in passive voice. 'Get' can be used only when things change or happen.

The cat got run over by a car.

He is liked by everybody. (NOT gets liked) ]

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