Does someone really read edited answers
He got his wallet stolen at the train station — To get-Passive with verbs that are the opposite ofto get mean
[Die Zeit (online edition), October 14, 1999, No. 42]
"If the fears that something will be taken away are too great, there is no willingness to change," said Schröder.
[Berliner Zeitung, July 15, 2002, p. 5]
Even if it is a little unusual and is rather dismissed by some as colloquial: this construction is not that rare. The combination get stolen was found 1390 times in a Google search (September 2006). If you had to search on all forms of to get (got / got / got / got / etc.), the number of hits would be even greater. And whether this construction is really "only" used colloquially is doubtful. You can find them not only in "chat rooms" on the Internet, but also, for example, in the written language of high-circulation newspapers. The combinationto get + stolen comes z. B. in the IDS text corpora 90 times. The following examples do not seem particularly colloquial:
Losing money or getting it stolen means a violation of the psyche in addition to the immediate pecuniary loss. [Mannheimer Morgen, December 31, 2001; When they say goodbye to the Deutsche Mark, memories come to life for many people]
Still, it's strange that something is taken away from you and you can express it using a group of verbs in which a verb, when used alone, means exactly the opposite:
For my birthday I got a theater ticket.
Even in other uses like He gets gray hair, He gets work or with an infinitive He gets something to do is it actually about having something afterwards that you didn't have before, and be it stomach ache: After eating fatty foods, he got a stomach ache.
How did such expressions come about?
The main verb to get, its usual usage by a phrase like Paul received a fountain pen for his fiftieth birthday is illustrated with an accusative object (in the example sentence:a fountain pen) is used. This accusative object expresses what someone has after the "donation" (in the broad sense). One then went on to include actions that someone performs for a person and that benefit them with the verb to get connect to. A sentence in which such a transition becomes clear is, for example, the sentence from Büchner's comedy "Leonce and Lena":
The original meaning of to get is slowly fading.To get becomes an auxiliary verb. With the help of this auxiliary verb and a participle II, sentences can be formed that have a passive meaning. Instead ofHe is given a book you can say He is given a book. Instead of His hair is cut you can say His hair is cut. This explains the name often used in grammars To get-Passive.
This use of to get (especially with the participlegiven - as a reinforcement, so to speak) is common in current language usage (Google search for "got a gift" in September 2006: 3,020,000 hits; IDS text corpora: 1,600 hits). But it is by no means a new release, as the following examples show:
And Goethe also disdained them To get-Construction not:
Ultimately, the original meaning of to get in the passive constructions to the point that one in to get here only one auxiliary verb to form the so-called To get-Looks passive, and it also uses participle of verbs like steal or take away can use.
What is the advantage of that To get-Passive?
For example, if someone does not want to or cannot name the person who is performing the action, he can use a passive sentence in German. TheTo get-Passive is formed from verbs that, when used in an active sentence, can carry a noun or a pronoun in the dative. The alternative to To get-Passive would be using a passive withbecomee.g. A book is given to him orHe is given a book. Both Become-Passive sentences have a conspicuous sentence structure, which leads to the fact that - with normal stress on the sentence - in the first sentence book is highlighted, and in the secondhim. The sentence structure with a To get-Passive, on the other hand, corresponds to the most common sentence structure in German: nominative, verb, accusative (participle) such as in He ate an apple. One can use the less common dative, which is in a corresponding sentence with become occurs, renounce and the person who gets something, to whom something positive or negative is done, is in the nominative, the most common and simplest form in German. Since this sentence structure is very common, there is no special emphasis, neither of the thing that someone receives or of the action that is performed on someone, nor of the person who receives something or to whom one does something positive or negative .
|Active set||Become-Passive phrase||To get-Passive phrase|
|I lend him a book||He is lent a book||He's borrowed a book|
|He cuts her hair||Your hair will be cut||She gets her hair cut|
|Somebody steals his wallet||The wallet is stolen from him||He got the wallet stolen|
More about the "To get-Passive ", how it is formed and what it does, can be found here:
Technical literature: Leirbukt (1997); Wegener (1985); Askedal (1984).
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