Can get passive replace be passive in English?

Get passive, be passive, semantic structure, meaning, use


June 30, 2021


While some traditional grammarians claim that get passive is the alternative colloquial of be passive, some scholars argue that get passive cannot be used to replace be passive since the use of get as a passive auxiliary is very limited. Due to the debatable claims, this research paper investigated whether be passive can replace get passive or not. In finding the answer, the writing was done by a thorough library study about semantic structure and division of each passive’s role. The result shows that get passive cannot replace be passive because of several reasons. From a semantic structure point of view, firstly the stative verbs, such as emotion and thought cannot be addressed with get passive. Secondly, get passive does not go well with the verbs “creation”. Following the structure, it is important to note that be passive and get passive have distinctive roles according to the event. Six types of get passives support this claim because get passive shows no indication that it can replace the function of be passive in some contexts. The types of get passive covers non-reflexive adversative, reflexive adversative, adversative get passive with an inanimate subject, beneficial get passive, the reflexive beneficial get passive and the beneficial get passive with an inanimate subject. After proposing all these different uses of get passive, it can be argued that get passive cannot be claimed to replace be passive because it denotes different meanings and get passive has restricted uses. If be passive is used in the context of get passive then it will shift the meanings.