get to know: ✓ get to know ✗ know

By | August 31, 2016
get to know
know
The better I get to know men, the more I find myself loving dogs.
Più conosco gli uomini, più mi trovo ad amare i cani.
- Charles de Gaulle
✓ Don’t worry – she seems a bit grumpy at first, but she’s ok once you get to know her.
✗ Don’t worry about her – she seems a bit grumpy at first, but she’s ok once you *know* her.
Non farci caso – sembra un po' scontrosa all'inizio, ma è una persona a posto una volta che la conosci.
After you meet someone for the first time but before you know them well, there is a process of getting to know them: that is, you have to learn about their character, their habits, etc.
Look at the following example:
✓ The new coach is still getting to know the players.
✗ The new coach is still *knowing* the players.
alternatively ... The new coach is still getting acquainted with/familiarising himself with/learning about the players.
Il nuovo allenatore sta ancora conoscendo i giocatori.
The verb know describes a state, a static situation. If I know someone, I know them today, tomorrow, forever. That's it! Nothing changes. We don't generally use this type of verb in the continuous tenses.
The expression get to know indicates a process, a changing situation. We can use this type of expression in the continuous tenses.
✓ I'm getting to know my students' strengths and weaknesses.
✗ I'm *knowing* my students' strengths and weaknesses.
alternatively ... I'm learning about my students' strengths and weaknesses.
Sto conoscendo i punti forti e deboli dei miei studenti.
✓ I've been getting to know my new neighbours. They're really friendly.
✗ I've been *knowing* my new neighbours. They're really friendly.
Ho conosciuto/Sto conoscendo i miei nuovi vicini. Sono davvero cordiali.
We can also get to know (that is, become familiar with) new things, places, systems, and so on, not just people.
✓ Give your new cat time to get to know its new home.
✗ Give your new cat time to *know* its new home.
Dai tempo al tuo nuovo gatto di conoscere la sua nuova casa.
✓ It took me a few days to get to know my way around the city.
✗ It took me a few days to *know* my way around the city.
Ci ho messo qualche giorno per imparare a girare per la città.

Know vs get to know
Now try the quiz below! There are FIFTEEN answers. The passmark is 80% (12 out of 15). Click on the blue arrows to go to the next or previous question. You can check your answers immediately or when you've finished the quiz.

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