I will try to cross the street without getting hit or being hit by a car

Which one is more common?


Per Google Books NGram Viewer, the more common in print (of the books they've recorded) is being hit by a car:

hit by a car

Note that this could be different with spoken English. Also, even if one phrase is more common than the other, they are both grammatical.

  • 2
    +1 But my feeling is that it is likely different in everyday conversation. I know I’d say “without getting hit”. Getting also implies a little bit more responsibility than does being – Jim Nov 15 '18 at 20:05
  • Try it with American English and British English filters. – Kris Nov 16 '18 at 10:46
  • 1
    @Jim That's obviously because get seems to imply intransitivity ("You let yourself be hit") while being is patently transitive ("They hit you"), which is not quite true always. – Kris Nov 16 '18 at 10:59

Why are the two answers so far on the opposite sides?

1 In general, get is far more common in AmE than in BrE.

2 Usage:

The verb get is in the top five of the most common verbs in the English language. Nevertheless, there is still a feeling that almost any use containing get is somewhat informal. No general informal label has been applied to this dictionary entry, but in formal writing it is worth bearing this reservation in mind


As a native English speaker, I would say “getting hit” is the more common of the two, at least in spoken English. In fact, “being hit” sounds a bit clunky to me, and I think I’ve ever heard someone say it that way.

  • Actually, Google Ngram Viewer disagrees with you.  (Of course, it is based on written English.) – Scott Nov 16 '18 at 1:23
  • That's odd, as a native English speaker I have the opposite reaction. However I am rather old and British, perhaps one or both of those circumstances explains the difference. – BoldBen Nov 16 '18 at 7:20
  • Ah, I see! I’m young and American. That might be it. – user324459 Nov 25 '18 at 22:23

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