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Thread: get down

  1. #1
    dilodi83 is offline Senior Member
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    get down

    - Why do you always put the dishes on the tip shelf? I cannot get them down.
    - The firefighters got the people down from the roof.

    My question is: Is "get down" in this context an informal synonym of "reach down"? Are they used in the same way? Which is used more in everyday's language?

  2. #2
    Raymott's Avatar
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    Re: get down

    Quote Originally Posted by dilodi83 View Post
    - Why do you always put the dishes on the top shelf? I cannot get them down.
    - The firefighters got the people down from the roof.

    My question is: Is "get down" in this context an informal synonym of "reach down"? Are they used in the same way? Which is used more in everyday's language?
    No, it doesn't mean 'reach down'.
    This meaning is really quite literal. "I can't get the plates down from the top shelf" - The plates are up on the top shelf. I can't achieve my aim of getting them to be down where I want them.
    The fireman achieved his aim of getting the people on the roof to be down on the street.

  3. #3
    dilodi83 is offline Senior Member
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    Re: get down

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymott View Post
    No, it doesn't mean 'reach down'.
    This meaning is really quite literal. "I can't get the plates down from the top shelf" - The plates are up on the top shelf. I can't achieve my aim of getting them to be down where I want them.
    The fireman achieved his aim of getting the people on the roof to be down on the street.
    I cannot get the difference with "reach down"...

  4. #4
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    Re: get down

    "To reach down" as a phrasal verb means that you stretch your arm in a downward direction. If you were standing up and saw a dollar on the ground, you would reach down to pick it up.

    However, "to reach something down" can mean to "reach up" for something high and bring it to a lower position. "I'm very short. Can you reach that box down for me please?"

    With your first example: "Why do you always put the dishes on the top shelf? I cannot get them down" could also be said as "I cannot reach them" or potentially "I cannot reach them down".

    The second example is different. The firemen did not simply reach up with their hands and move people from the top of a burning building to the ground. They performed a proper rescue, with ladders etc. In that context, they got the people down safely.
    Remember - correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing make posts much easier to read.

  5. #5
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    Re: get down

    I think "reach them down" might not have made it across the pond.
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

  6. #6
    emsr2d2's Avatar
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    Re: get down

    Quote Originally Posted by Barb_D View Post
    I think "reach them down" might not have made it across the pond.
    I would use "get it/them down" most frequently, but "reach it/them down" is used.
    Remember - correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing make posts much easier to read.

  7. #7
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    Re: get down

    Quote Originally Posted by Barb_D View Post
    I think "reach them down" might not have made it across the pond.
    It also never made it down from the top shelf!

  8. #8
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    Re: get down

    I've never heard of "reach something down".

  9. #9
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    Re: get down

    I've no idea if it's regional British English, but in the South of England I've heard "Can you reach that down for me?" or "I can't reach it down. I'm too short" my entire life.
    Remember - correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing make posts much easier to read.

  10. #10
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    Re: get down

    I'd only ever say 'Please don't put the cups on the top shelf: I can't reach them'.

    In a supermarket I find a tall guy and say 'Will you reach me one of those bottles from the top shelf, please'.

    Rover

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