General Writing and Grammar Help/Go out, get out

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Question
Dear Ted:

If the following two sentences are both correct, do they mean the same thing?

1) She thinks her brother is a nerd who doesn't GO OUT enough.

2) She thinks her brother is a nerd who doesn't GET OUT enough.

Many, many thanks for your kind help.

Paolo

Answer
Dear Paolo:

If the following two sentences are both correct, do they mean the same thing?

1) She thinks her brother is a nerd who doesn't GO OUT enough.

2) She thinks her brother is a nerd who doesn't GET OUT enough.

*** The two sentences mean the same thing.  The only difference lies in the subtlety of the two verbs. "GO OUT" is active; it suggests that the brother CHOOSES to remain at home.

However, "GET OUT" is rather passive.  I use the word "rather," because I would need to see the context.  To me, "getting out" sounds as if someone is "letting" or "allowing" the other person to go from one place to another.  "When do you GET OUT of jail?"  I intend to GO OUT for a twenty-mile run tomorrow.

*** The difference is slight, but there is a nuance between the two verbs.  [Most people wouldn't even notice it.]

Ted

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Ted Nesbitt

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I am the bibliographic instruction and reference librarian at a public college. Some members of the English department recommend me to their students. I offer assistance in grammar, punctuation, sentence structure, and paragraph development. My master`s thesis concerns William Faulkner`s tragic novels. I formerly taught advanced placement English at two schools in the Philadelphia area.

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I have been one of the highest-ranked volunteers in this category for more than a decade.

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B. A. and M. A in English; MSIS in Library & Information Sciences; graduate study in philosophy

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