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Daniel
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Hello,

I've recently met with a curious verb pattern not described in the grammar books available to me.
The whole sentence goes like this: "Get together and get talking!" I just don't know what to think
of this *get talking*.The meaning of the phrase is obvious (Start talking!), but I'd appreciate it
if the group enlightened me about

1.whether ‘get talking' is standard English; and if it's quite standard,
2.whether it's neutral or informal; and further,
3.whether it's used only in the imperative; and finally,
4.whether it's really a pattern, i.e. you can use ‘get' with the ing-form of any verb.

Thank you for you time,

Daniel
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Cybercypher
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[email protected] (Daniel) burbled news:[email protected]:

[q1]> Hello,[/q1]
[q1]>[/q1]
[q1]> I've recently met with a curious verb pattern not described in the grammar books available to me.[/q1]
[q1]> The whole sentence goes like this: "Get together and get talking!" I just don't know what to think[/q1]
[q1]> of this *get talking*.The meaning of the phrase is obvious (Start talking!), but I'd appreciate it[/q1]
[q1]> if the group enlightened me about[/q1]
[q1]>[/q1]
[q1]> 1.whether ‘get talking' is standard English; and if it's quite standard,[/q1]

It's based on an idiomatic pattern used most frequently with the expression "Get moving"; however,
"moving" may not be a verb here but a present participle used as an adjective.

I haven't heard "get talking" yet, but it doesn't seem terribly out of the ordinary given the
beginning of the sentence. I wouldn't call it "standard idiomatic American English", but I wouldn't
say that there is any gammatical error here.

The pattern "Get + adj" is common ("get busy", "get lost", "get started") and "Get + to-infinitive"
("get to work") and "Get + adverb phrase" ("get out of {here/my way/my sight}"). It can also be used
with "Get + noun phrase (DO)" ("get the ball")

[q1]> 2.whether it's neutral or informal; and further,[/q1]

I'd call it informal only because it's unusual. It certainly isn't formal English.

[q1]> 3.whether it's used only in the imperative; and finally,[/q1]

Probably.

[q1]> 4.whether it's really a pattern, i.e. you can use ‘get' with the ing-form of any verb.[/q1]

Yes, it really is a pattern, but, no, I don't think it works with the pres. part. adjectival form of
any verb. "Get to work" would have to be much more common than "Get working", but you couldn't say
*"Get to move", so you'd have to say "Get moving". There's also "Get cracking".

--
Franke: "There are no great religions, only great myths and great mistakes." Bodhisattva F. A.
Tchirl. Grammar 1: Internalized rules for the spoken language. Grammar 2: Formal rules for the
written language. Grammar 1 does not equal Grammar 2.
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