I was on the Islamic site of Stack Exchange which is currently on beta. We are preparing the website for new users, and one of the moderators and I are confused about some grammar. My answer said "with the insignificant amount of alcohol it is impossible to become intoxicated" and it was edited to "get intoxicated". Would one be more correct or are they equally correct?

  • 4
    They are more or less synonymous, but a bit more context would be beneficial.
    – Andrew Leach
    Jun 22 '12 at 7:37

I think I would prefer become in that sentence.

With the insignificant amount of alcohol it is impossible to become intoxicated.

As I commented, they are practically synonymous, but get may have the connotation of a deliberate action for the purpose of intoxication and become something more passive. There is an idiomatic phrase "get drunk" which does seem to connote intention; to "become drunk" almost sounds accidental. But that's a subjective view and probably unjustified.

  • 3
    "Become" covers both the deliberate and accidental route to intoxication, whereas "get" does have an implication of intent. In this case it might depend on content, whether it is a safeguard against people deliberately trying to get drunk, or a safeguard against people accidentally becoming intoxicated. Jun 22 '12 at 8:03
  • 1
    Yes, one gets drunk in the pub the night before; up in front of the beak the following day one became drunk. Jun 22 '12 at 8:13
  • 1
    Also, become is more formal than get.
    – Colin Fine
    Jun 22 '12 at 9:49
  • I would definitely prefer "get". On the other hand, I'm American, and we tend to overuse the word "get". Jun 24 '12 at 1:04
  • he became retired = he got retired according to ginger online grammar chercker
    – user25992
    Sep 12 '12 at 15:57

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