@Gustavo, Co-Moderator posted:
And there's also just "get where," with 1,238 results on COCA. I think all three can refer to the physical meaning of arriving somewhere or to the sociological sense of acquiring a certain status or position in life or in some activity, don't you agree?
Yes, absolutely; "get where" also works: "I didn't get where I am today without taking some risks." Syntactically, "where" has the status of an adverbial in "get where." In "get to where," "where" has the status of a noun phrase.
"Get to be where," by contrast, conveys a subtly different meaning. Unlike in "get to where," in "get to be where," "to" is the stem of an infinitive, not a preposition; and "get to VP" has an opportunity- or qualification-oriented meaning:
- He got to ride the roller coaster. The line wasn't too long.
- It was only by fulfilling the prerequisites that they got to take this class.
- I didn't get to be where I am without hard work and a bit of luck.