Mastering 'Get' in Spanish: Top 7 Essential Phrases

Mastering 'Get' in Spanish: Top 7 Essential Phrases

Gordon Feliz • Updated Jan 19th, 2024

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In the English language, the verb "to get" is often a go-to choice, serving a multitude of purposes.


  • Getting a lovely gift on your birthday

  • Getting home from work at 6pm

  • Getting a joke

  • Getting a cold

  • Getting money

  • And the list goes on.


However, in Spanish, there isn't a direct equivalent that covers all these meanings. Hence, mastering the various expressions for "to get" becomes crucial for accurate and context-appropriate communication.

In this article, we'll delve into 7 different ways to convey the concept of "to get" in Spanish, beginning with its most frequent applications.


1.) Obtener

Used when "get" means to obtain or acquire something.


Example Sentences:
"Quiero obtener buenos resultados en el examen." (I want to get good results in the exam.)
"Ella obtuvo su licencia de conducir ayer." (She got her driver's license yesterday.)


2.) Conseguir

Similar to obtener, but often implies a bit more effort to acquire or achieve something.


Example Sentences:
"Conseguí dos entradas para el concierto." (I got two tickets for the concert.)
"Está tratando de conseguir un nuevo trabajo." (He is trying to get a new job.)


3.) Llegar a ser

Used when "get" means to become, in the sense of a change of state or condition.


Example Sentences:
"Ella llegó a ser una excelente pianista." (She got to be an excellent pianist.)
"Con esfuerzo, llegarás a ser un gran científico." (With effort, you'll get to be a great scientist.)


4.) Ponerse

Used when "get" refers to a change in physical or emotional state.


Example Sentences:
"Se puso muy feliz al escuchar la noticia." (He got very happy when he heard the news.)
"Me pongo nervioso antes de una presentación." (I get nervous before a presentation.)


5.) Enfermarse

Specifically used when "get" means to become ill or sick.


Example Sentences:
"Me enfermé la semana pasada." (I got sick last week.)
"Ella se enferma cada invierno." (She gets sick every winter.)


6.) Tener

Used in some contexts where "get" has the meaning of coming to have something.


Example Sentences:
"Tengo que conseguir algo de dinero." (I have to get some money.)
"Finalmente tuve una respuesta de ellos." (I finally got a response from them.)


7.) Recibir

Used when "get" is synonymous with receiving something.


Example Sentences:
"Recibí tu carta ayer." (I got your letter yesterday.)
"Ella recibió muchos regalos en su cumpleaños." (She got many gifts on her birthday.)

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"To Get" Exercises


1. Obtener

Obtuvimos las entradas para el concierto. - We got the tickets for the concert.

Translate the sentence into Spanish: "They obtained the necessary information for the project."


¿Pudiste obtener una respuesta de ellos? - Were you able to get a response from them?

Translate the sentence into English: "Voy a obtener un nuevo libro este fin de semana."


Para obtener éxito, hay que trabajar duro. - To get success, one must work hard.

Translate the sentence into Spanish: "She will get her degree next year."


2. Conseguir

Conseguí un trabajo en una empresa multinacional. - I got a job at a multinational company.

Translate the sentence into English: "¿Lograste conseguir los boletos para el juego?"


Estamos intentando conseguir mejores resultados. - We are trying to get better results.

Translate the sentence into Spanish: "They managed to get front row seats."


Si sigues así, conseguirás tus metas. - If you keep it up, you'll achieve your goals.

Translate the sentence into English: "Ella consiguió aprender español en un año."


3. Llegar a ser

Llegó a ser un músico famoso. - He became a famous musician.

Translate the sentence into Spanish: "She got to be the team leader."


¿Crees que llegarás a ser presidente algún día? - Do you think you'll become president one day?

Translate the sentence into English: "Con esfuerzo, puedes llegar a ser lo que quieras."


Quiero llegar a ser un buen escritor. - I want to become a good writer.

Translate the sentence into Spanish: "They became experts in their field."


4. Ponerse

Me puse muy feliz al recibir la noticia. - I got very happy when I received the news.

Translate the sentence into Spanish: "He got angry after hearing the comment."


Cuando veo esa película, me pongo triste. - When I watch that movie, I get sad.

Translate the sentence into English: "Se puso nervioso antes de la presentación."


Te pondrás mejor si descansas. - You'll get better if you rest.

Translate the sentence into Spanish: "She got excited about her upcoming trip."


5. Enfermarse

Mi hermano se enfermó durante las vacaciones. - My brother got sick during the vacation.

Translate the sentence into Spanish: "I got a cold last week."


Es fácil enfermarse en invierno. - It's easy to get sick in winter.

Translate the sentence into English: "Ella se enferma frecuentemente en otoño."


Si no te abrigas, te vas a enfermar. - If you don't bundle up, you're going to get sick.

Translate the sentence into Spanish: "They got the flu during their trip."


6. Tener

Tengo que terminar mi tarea. - I have to finish my homework.

Translate the sentence into English: "Tuve una idea genial."


¿Tienes tiempo para hablar? - Do you have time to talk?

Translate the sentence into Spanish: "We got a new puppy."


Ella tuvo suerte en el examen. - She got lucky in the exam.

Translate the sentence into English: "Tendrás éxito si trabajas duro."


7. Recibir

Recibí una carta de mi amigo. - I got a letter from my friend.

Translate the sentence into Spanish: "Did you get my message?"


Ella recibió muchos regalos en su cumpleaños. - She got many gifts on her birthday.

Translate the sentence into English: "Vamos a recibir a los nuevos estudiantes."


¿Cuándo recibiste la noticia? - When did you get the news?

Translate the sentence into Spanish: "He got the package yesterday."

Additional Resources To Learn More Irregular Spanish Verbs


How to Use Direct and Indirect Object Pronouns in Spanish: This article will be particularly useful for understanding how object pronouns work in Spanish, a key aspect when constructing sentences with verbs like 'get'. It can help in understanding the placement and usage of pronouns in complex sentences.


Spanish Verbs That Change Meaning When Reflexive: Since many verbs, including forms of 'get', can change meaning when used reflexively in Spanish, this article provides valuable insight into this aspect of Spanish grammar. It's essential for understanding the nuances of verbs in different contexts.


Navigating the Nuances of 'Qué' and 'Cuál' in Spanish: This article will help you understand the intricacies of using 'qué' and 'cuál', which are often used in questions involving the verb 'get'. It's a great resource for refining question-forming skills in Spanish.


Spanish Learning Lab - Conjugating Irregular Verbs Worksheet: This resource provides a worksheet focusing on conjugating irregular verbs in Spanish, suitable for beginners. It includes a short definition of irregular verbs and exercises to practice conjugating them in the present tense. This resource is particularly helpful for those who prefer a structured, worksheet-based approach to learning.


Tell Me In Spanish - Spanish Irregular Verbs Guide: This guide offers detailed conjugation tables for 18 common irregular Spanish verbs, including verbs like "tener," "estar," and "traer." It's a comprehensive resource for those who want to see the verbs in different tenses and understand their usage in various contexts.


Effortless Conversations - Ultimate Conjugation Guide: This guide provides conjugation examples for irregular verbs in Spanish, including changes in verb stems like -u to -ue (e.g., "jugar") and -e to -i (e.g., "decir"). It also includes a practice section with sentences to complete using the correct form of irregular verbs, making it great for interactive learning.

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