which would be the correct use of the word "panic-stricken" in the two sentences below:

I was panic-stricken at the thought of missing my trip to usa


I got panic-stricken at the thought of missing my trip to usa

Also, please explain why! Because I'm trying to improve my English vocabulary and usage of words in everyday English.

Thank you

  • The use of get and its various forms in this sense is not formal English. The sentences are acceptable in conversation and in informal writing. See also: English Language Learners – Kris Jul 9 '14 at 6:39
  • get v.intr. 1. a. To become or grow to be: eventually got well. thefreedictionary.com/get – Kris Jul 9 '14 at 6:43

The correct answer is "was". You use a conjugation of the verb "to be" to describe your state.

You use the verb "to get" to describe the action of obtaining an object.

  • But then why the sentence "He got hurt" is correct ? Shouldn't it be "He was hurt" ? – Jabbar_Jigariyo Jul 9 '14 at 4:34

Because "panic-stricken" is an adjective, it makes more sense the first way. Similar to the word "red," you wouldn't say "The car got red," you would say "the car was red." As the other answer mentions, you use "get" to refer to obtaining something. In your example, you might say "I got a ticket to fly to the USA." As you'll notice, in this example, you are retrieving a ticket. Thus, "got" is appropriate.

Realistically, anyone would understand you either way, of course, and it wouldn't surprise me to hear native speakers saying the latter, but the first one is correct.

Also, as a side note, in proper English you would say "...my trip to the USA," as compared to your "my trip to USA." I only bring that up since you said you wanted to get used to the language more. It's not a big deal, and it's certainly a confusing rule, but we refer to the United States, as I did just now, as "the United States," not just "United States." That is, of course, different from how we refer to "Canada" or most other countries.

  • But then why the sentence "He got hurt" is correct ? Shouldn't it be "He was hurt" ? – Jabbar_Jigariyo Jul 9 '14 at 4:35
  • 1
    In that example, "hurt" is acting as a past-tense verb. It's similar to saying "He got promoted." It's a bit confusing, I know, because "hurt" is the present and past tense of the verb, as well as the adjective that relates to it. "He was hurt" would also be acceptable, although you don't hear it as much. It also carries a notion of being a longer-running event. For instance, "he couldn't play soccer for a while because he was hurt," makes sense, and so does "he got hurt playing soccer." – Matthew Haugen Jul 9 '14 at 4:56
  • I see. Yes, it's confusing. Especially for a non-native speaker. I am about to give an English test so I am more concern about this type of grammatical mistakes. – Jabbar_Jigariyo Jul 9 '14 at 5:13
  • 1
    Well your English is very good, for what that's worth. You might want to poke around the ELL Stack exchange a bit, too. It might be below your proficiency level, but it's possible that you could find some good tips on there. – Matthew Haugen Jul 9 '14 at 5:21
  • Thank you. Oh, I was unaware about ELL stack exchange. That'll definitely help some instant tips. Thank you for your help! – Jabbar_Jigariyo Jul 9 '14 at 5:39

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

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