Skip to main content

@Toaha posted:

▪Hey, you know I didn't get to be where I am today without taking some risks.

I agree with Gustavo's answer and would like to add that "be" is unnecessary and even slightly distracting in that sentence. Normally, there would be no "be":

  • I didn't get to where I am today without taking some risks.

On the Corpus of Contemporary American English (COCA), there are 707 results for "get to where" and only 12 for "get to be where."

Words and phrases that could replace "get to" in that sentence include "arrive" or "make the journey to." Here is definition 26 b (b) for "get" at the OED:

Quote:

(b) intransitive. With prepositional phrase as complement: to reach or attain an end aimed at, or a condition towards which progress has been made; esp. to come to or come to be in a state or condition.

a1425   J. Wyclif Sel. Eng. Wks. (1871) II. 86 (MED)   Traveil in þis hervest were worþ to gete to blisse of hevene.
1596   H. Clapham Briefe of Bible ii. xviii. 181   The Gentiles once, got to the height of sinne.
1626   F. Bacon Sylua Syluarum §744   Those that are very Cold, and especially in their Feet, cannot get to Sleepe.
1668   H. More Divine Dialogues: Two Last Dial. 416   All the difficulty is to get to that state of Unprejudicateness.
1701   J. Swift Disc. Contests Nobles & Commons iii. 31   The Carthaginians were declining, because the Balance was got too much on the side of the People.
1785   W. M. Roberts Let. 14 Apr. in G. Washington Papers (1992) Confederation Ser. II. 496   Your Exsellency has Got in A Pasion with Me.
1798   T. Jefferson Writings (1859) IV. 205   The scene has not yet got to its height.
1820   J. Keats Isabella in Lamia & Other Poems 61   [He] went in haste, to get in readiness, With belt, and spur, and bracing huntsman's dress.
1837   T. Carlyle French Revol. I. v. vi. 267   Paris wholly has got to the acme of its frenzy.
1888   J. McCarthy & R. C. Praed Ladies' Gallery III. xv. 298   He..succeeded in getting to speech of a police officer.
1895   19th Cent. Aug. 322   I don't think that I get quite as far as having views of my own.
1915   F. Cannon Writing Play xxii. 240   Your play must begin at once, get to its climax quickly, and terminate just at the right moment.
1955   Househ. Guide & Almanac (News of World) 227/2   Only 1,311 got as far as taking the oath on the first day of training.
1981   Brit. Jrnl. Sociol. 32 43   I wanted to get to a state where I had no security whatsoever. And I found this in Canada.
1992   A. Lambert Rather Eng. Marriage (1993) xv. 256   I still get in a total tizz when some attractive male asks me out for the first time.
2009   N.Y. Times (National ed.) 6 Jan. a1/1   My generation of Catholics have paid, prayed and obeyed, but you get to a point where you've had it.

 

I agree with Gustavo's answer and would like to add that "be" is unnecessary and even slightly distracting in that sentence. Normally, there would be no "be":

  • I didn't get to where I am today without taking some risks.

On the Corpus of Contemporary American English (COCA), there are 707 results for "get to where" and only 12 for "get to be where."

Hi, David,

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?

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.

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; [...]

Exactly!

[...]; 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.

That's much more precise (and embracing) than my "sociological sense"

Last edited by Gustavo, Contributor

Add Reply

×
×
×
×
Link copied to your clipboard.
×