My parents are getting a divorce
Is the getting just an auxiliary verb or does it have some real meaning?
Why not: "My parents is going to divorce"?
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Note: In your example Getting is not the auxiliary verb. The auxiliary verb is to be --> "are getting", while getting is the main verb, and divorce is a noun.
Edit: psmears, PLL and also Robusto made me doubt about my results eheh, so I re-checked everything and edited my answer.
First, I searched "
they are getting a divorce", "
they are divorcing" and "
they are getting divorced".
Then I searched "
my parents are getting a divorce", "
my parents are divorcing" and "
my parents are getting divorced"
The Google search gives results in contrast though:
My proposal was not the best one in the end, so you can choose between the others two, I apologise for the previous misinformation.
The sentence "
my parents is going to divorce" is wrong, because "parents" is plural, therefore it requires a plural verb: "My parents are going to divorce", which is perfectly acceptable under the grammatical point of view.
With all due respect to Google NGrams, @Alenanno's graph really only refers to what has appeared in books. It doesn't show how people really speak.
For example, I almost never hear "[X and Y] are divorcing" and instead overwhelmingly hear "[X and Y] are getting a divorce". Less frequently I hear "[X and Y] got divorced" and the like. "Divorcing" is a higher-toned way to say this, which may be why it appears in books more often.
Further, if we compare "divorcing" with "divorce" (which covers more cases involving the subject than simply "getting a divorce"), we see this NGram view:
Now, it may be argued that this is not a fair comparison, since "divorce" also covers single noun instances, but I would counter that the other comparison is similarly flawed, since it leaves out other instances of the "get/getting/got" construction, and the gerund form "divorcing" may be used in other contexts. In short, I take my NGrams with a grain of salt.
In answer to the question: "get" is a verb with many many idiomatic uses in English.
One family of meanings is "become", or "change state to":
Get angry, get drunk, get impatient, get married, get vaccinated, get employed, get busy, get high, get abandoned.
"Get divorced" is squarely in this meaning.