As you obviously know, We face a lot of situations that we need to use a passive form of a sentence, but I was wondering which one of the following forms could be both common and accurate.

For instance:

  1. My foot was hurt when I was playing football.
  2. My foot got hurt when I was playing football.

I was thinking to myself, the second one must convey the meaning with more detail, like when I was playing football, my foot got hurt by someone/something. And the first one is a bit general.

Now what I'm trying to realize is summarized by the two following questions:

  1. What is the point of view which each one carries the meaning with?
  2. Which one of the forms is more common in daily English?

1 Answer 1


I would say both of them are common and accurate. To be and to get have different nuance and meaning even though both of them could be used in the passive voice as in your example. The former emphasizes the state of the subject and the latter puts more focus on the action or process of the action.

The linked Cambridge Dictionaries Online explains you use get-passive:

  1. Especially in informal speaking. When we use the get passive, we also place a little more emphasis on the nature of the action itself or on the person involved in the action: 'I’ve got good news for you. Jim finally got promoted.'


  1. In speaking of events that are negative or not desired: 'Our car got stolen last night.'

Which one to use largely depends on what you try to mean and you need to get yourself familiarized with the differences reading many example sentences. If you want the state to be emphasized, use "be-passive" and if you want the action to be emphasized, use "get-passive".

You can get more references such as this if you Google "get passive".

  • That was informative enough to get a point. Thanks. Apr 19, 2016 at 15:55
  • @DevinHudson My pleasure. .
    – user24743
    Apr 19, 2016 at 15:57
  • RE: The former (to be) emphasizes the state of the subject and the latter (to get) puts more focus on the action or process of the action. This is subtle but true. For example: in Her car was stolen vs. Her car got stolen, and I had the measles vs. I got the measles, the latter emphasizes the action (the stealing of the car, the catching of the disease) just a little bit more.
    – J.R.
    Apr 19, 2016 at 20:25

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