I have a question about the sentence below:

Do not let bygones(or the past) get you

I was wondering what "get you" could mean in this context.

  • Don't let bygones catch, apprehend, or block you. – mahmud koya Apr 27 '18 at 15:26

In that context, it's an informal way of saying "annoy", "bother" or "worry".

An example from Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary:

What gets me is having to do the same thing all day long.


'Get' does a lot of work in English. It can mean so meany different things. It's primary meaning is to obtain or receive, but that has slipped into many metaphorical and underspecified meanings. The OED (available online in the US and UK through your local library) has 34 distinct entries for 'get', and this hides a number of sub-specializations. They're all somewhat related but it is not obvious what a particular usage may mean unless you know already.

In your example,

Do not let (something) get you

it means that you shouldn't let that something bother you. From OED definition #14 'to concern, worry, or annoy' chiefly US:

1867 B. Harte Condensed Novels 280 "To have let bigger things go by, and to be taken in by this cheap trick..is what gets me."

The derivation is that this something has taken obtained control over your mental well-being. It is often said "Don't let it get to you" but without 'to' is the same thing (no sentence accent on the 'to', I'm just pointing it out).


If I get you, you're afraid that the boogeyman's going to get you because you don't understand the meaning of "get you" in your example.

It's perhaps a little more properly worded as "get to you", referring to a worry or irritation which may annoy you if allowed to fester.

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