Words like turn, become, get, and go are used to describe changes and transformations – but many learners confuse them. Read this lesson to learn the difference!
Use turn for colors:
- Bananas turn black if you put them in the refrigerator.
- The sky turned pink and orange during the sunset.
- My uncle’s hair is turning white.
Use turn into when talking about a complete transformation:
- The caterpillar turned into a butterfly.
- The couch in the living room can turn into a bed.
- My dream turned into a nightmare.
In informal English, use get with emotions:
- I got angry when my colleague said things about me that weren’t true.
- My son’s getting excited about his birthday party next week. He’ll be 5.
- We always get really bored in History class.
You can also use get with comparative adjectives:
- It’s gotten more expensive to buy an apartment in this city.
- I’m getting better at playing the piano – I’ve been practicing a lot.
- It’s getting easier and easier for me to understand movies in English!
Become can be used with emotions and comparative adjectives in more formal English:
- My sister became depressed after she moved to a new city.
- It’s becoming more difficult to balance work and life in the modern world.
Always use become with professions (never “get”)
- My son is studying really hard. He wants to become a lawyer someday.
- Shirley Temple became a famous actress when she was just four years old.
[notice]Use get with “used to”
- I’ve gotten used to taking cold showers.
- We never got used to driving on the opposite side of the road while we lived in England.
- It took years for him to become accustomed to life in another country.
- When I started my new job, I had to get accustomed to waking up early.
Use go with these specific words:
- go crazy
- go blind / go deaf
- go bald
- go bad (when food or drink becomes bad and you can’t eat it)