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Why is “to get” sometimes used where “to be” could be used?

I am working on a website and I'm having a little difficulty selecting an appropriate message on the signup page.

Consider the following sentences:

Sign up to Be Discovered.
Sign up to Get Discovered.

Which of these phrases is more grammatically correct? I assume "Get Discovered" is more appropriate however it still feels off. Is there a third option I am missing?

  • It's a a question about the Get-Passive, all right. Another answer is Barrie's in english.stackexchange.com/questions/44691/…. But in any case there's a significant amount of confusion between Passives, Participles, and Predicate Adjectives. Feb 17, 2012 at 16:21

1 Answer 1


Sign up to be discovered is the correct answer

  • 2
    It's best to give some rationale for your response rather than simply come out and state it. I think most people would agree that both are perfectly good English sentences. Feb 17, 2012 at 21:01
  • @BrettReynolds: I agree with your first sentence, but to me "Sign up to Get Discovered" doesn't sound right. Perhaps usage differs between British and North American English?
    – user11752
    Feb 18, 2012 at 15:17
  • Nope, it's the same in the UK: corpus.byu.edu/bnc/?c=bnc&q=14572845 Feb 19, 2012 at 1:38
  • @BrettReynolds: "to get discovered" was not included in the results returned via your link, and when I changed "to get [vvn*]" to "to get discovered", the search returned 0 results. I think this confirms that this is not a current usage in British English.
    – user11752
    Feb 21, 2012 at 14:43
  • @MarkBannister: I was referring to the general usage of get + past participle, rather than the particular use of get discovered. As you say, that particular expression doesn't seem to appear in the BNC but does appear in the COCA, so in this particular instance might indeed be a British vs NA thing. Feb 21, 2012 at 15:09

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