English Language & Usage Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

When you use the phrase 'get involved', do you expect an object for it should be negative?

I've seen some examples using it since now. Their objects were mostly negative.


get involved in a bribery affair
get involved in a quarrel
get involved in an accident

share|improve this question
I've been involved with EL&U for awhile now, and I don't think that's a negative thing. – J.R. Jun 14 '12 at 16:09
Thanks guys for helps. I got that. Also, Andrew, thank you for your editing. it's good to know better way to ask – suzukimilanpaak Jun 15 '12 at 1:25
up vote 6 down vote accepted

When you use the phrase 'get involved', do you expect an object for it should be negative?

No, a negative object isn't expected (nor is a positive one). One can get involved in positive things too, such as one's community, church, hackerspace, &c.

share|improve this answer
It might be more common usage to get involved in good things. But it is also correct to say "They might get involved in a quarrel", or bribery, or an accident. All were given as examples in the question. – Ellie Kesselman Jun 14 '12 at 19:06
@FeralOink Do you feel that my answer says otherwise? My 'no' refers to OP's direct question, "do you expect an object for it should be negative?" – cornbread ninja 麵包忍者 Jun 14 '12 at 19:11
Ahhh, I see what you mean now! I misread that. You were saying No, he should not expect negative things and you gave examples of positives. I see. You said the same as I, that get involved could refer to positive OR negative. I'm sorry. I can't remove my down vote now. I thought your answer was 100% wrong, because of how I misunderstood it, and that's why I downvoted. – Ellie Kesselman Jun 14 '12 at 19:16
@FeralOink I will edit my answer! – cornbread ninja 麵包忍者 Jun 14 '12 at 19:24
Thank you! Down vote reversed, replaced with up vote. I never did that as a single step. Kind of cool to see the vote count flip from 4 straight to 6! – Ellie Kesselman Jun 17 '12 at 11:15

One may get involved in activities with negative OR positive connotations. The phrase get involved is entirely unrelated to the subject matter to which it is applied. A few examples of involvement in situations that are perceived as having less social merit, or deleterious to an individual's well-being:

People get involved in the illegal drug trade because it is lucrative


He might get involved in fraud

Of course, one may get involved with a civic society, a charity or volunteer organization, church group, advocacy effort for the disenfranchised, or a new coding project, all of which are positive.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.