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English as a Second Language/To be married vs to get married


Dear Shannon.

What is the difference in meaning between this pair of sentences:

She was married to a teacher.
She got married to a teacher.

Best regards,
Antoine Ghannou

The difference is in #1, the bride is no longer married (either now she is divorced or either she or her husband died) and in #2, it just talks about the fact that she married someone.  This form is usually preferred to talk about actions in the recent past (if we add "just" before got, it is the very recent past).  Perhaps she married last week, for example.  Alternatively, one could use it while telling a story that happened further in the past ("When she was 15, the television had just been invented.  She wanted to marry a famous actor she saw on a TV show, but four years later, she got married to a teacher from the local village instead.")

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Shannon Cole


I can answer questions related to learning the English and Spanish language.


I have taught ESL and Spanish since 1998 at the university and middle school levels. I am a native of the U.S., and have taught in both the U.S. and Mexico.

I am owner and operator of, an online language school.

Georgia TESOL in Action (1999)

B.A. in Spanish; M.Ed. in Language Education

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I have clients worldwide, some who want their documents proofread, and others who take lessons with me through the Internet. Some work at high-profile companies and government organizations. Besides the U.S. and Mexico, my recent students come from South Korea, Switzerland, Turkey, Colombia, Russia, Italy, Paraguay, China, Japan, the Philippines, and Saudi Arabia.

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