Is it "got beat" or "got beaten"?

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Raindear

Member
Philippines - Filipino & English
I often hear or read Americans, especially the NBA players, say: "We got beat last night." I've even read a similar usage in one news report of The Associated Press. Have Americans long accepted such usage? Have they discarded the word "beaten"? Or is it just a case of substandard grammar that persists? Or am I just missing something? Thanks you. :confused:
 
  • Bill Rich

    Senior Member
    US - English
    If you want to speak good English do NOT use either of these. They are commonly used but are very poor grammar.


    Here are the best alternatives. Both are grammatically correct and easily understood in all English speaking countries.

    1. "We lost last night."
    2. "We were beaten by a better team."

    Bill
     

    Eddie

    Senior Member
    USA - English
    Hi, Raindear.

    It's a little of both. There's an increasing tendency in American English to substitute the perfect tense for the past participle. I hear it all the time with many verbs. Whether you attribute it to lack of education or lack of concern, it will undoubtedly (and in my opinion, unfortunately) become the accepted form in future American English grammars.

     

    foxfirebrand

    Senior Member
    Southern AE greatly modified by a 1st-generation Scottish-American mother, and growing up abroad.
    I agree with Eddie that usage like "we got beat" is common, but I don't think it's all that unfortunate. Usage evolves, and its changes outlive us all.


    Uh...well, I do have my dislikes, and don't mean to come off as uncritical or all-accepting as that.

    Isn't it the Americans who tend to use "gotten" where the brits prefer "got?" I hope I can shift to another verb without changing the topic of the thread.
     

    panjandrum

    Lapsed Moderator
    English-Ireland (top end)
    foxfirebrand said:
    Isn't it the Americans who tend to use "gotten" where the brits prefer "got?" I hope I can shift to another verb without changing the topic of the thread.
    Ah, so you suggest that the alternative AE expression would be "We gotten beat last night":D
     

    foxfirebrand

    Senior Member
    Southern AE greatly modified by a 1st-generation Scottish-American mother, and growing up abroad.
    Very AE, this: "We've gotten beat before, but we're no stranger to the comeback trail. Don't count us out."

    Don't know why I didn't make this obvious distinction: in AE, getting beat is what happens in competitive team sports. Getting beaten is what happens at a flogging.

    "We really need to beat the mighty Wildcats-- we've gotten our heads handed to us by those guys just one time too many."

    Maybe a BE ear would like to substitute had for gotten, but there are idioms that strongly prefer get: We've gotten our share of kicks. I've heard many an explanation of cricket, but I've never gotten the point till now.

    Clearly an impossible construction in any version of English-- no American will ever get the point of cricket, I'm convinced y'all designed it that way. In fact I suspect the secret real name of the game is "Gentleman Johnny's revenge."
     

    panjandrum

    Lapsed Moderator
    English-Ireland (top end)
    foxfirebrand said:
    Very AE, this: "We've gotten beat before, but we're no stranger to the comeback trail. Don't count us out."
    :eek: REALLY:eek:
    I mean, you MUST be pulling my leg on this one; I feel the racking pain in my knee-joint already.
    :) I demand - well, respectfully anticipate - another opinion:)
     

    Eddie

    Senior Member
    USA - English
    All right, Pan. You want another opinion. You got one. This is NYC talking (big deal!).

    In my neck of the woods, we say 'got beat'.

    We got beat real bad in yesterday's game.

    Before I discovered the World Wide Web, I was very active in my sport, American handball. Everybody I played with said 'got beat'. I hear it on TV in regards to the other American sports.

    That's not to say the same idea isn't expressed differently in other states. We're dealing with regional distinctions here.
     

    VenusEnvy

    Senior Member
    English, United States
    foxfirebrand said:
    Very AE, this: "We've gotten beat before, but we're no stranger to the comeback trail. Don't count us out."

    Don't know why I didn't make this obvious distinction: in AE, getting beat is what happens in competitive team sports. Getting beaten is what happens at a flogging.
    panjandrum said:
    I mean, you MUST be pulling my leg on this one; I feel the racking pain in my knee-joint already.
    :) I demand - well, respectfully anticipate - another opinion:)
    Eddie said:
    All right, Pan. You want another opinion. You got one. This is NYC talking (big deal!).

    In my neck of the woods, we say 'got beat'.

    We got beat real bad in yesterday's game.
    As much as I HATE to agree with Eddie, Pan, I'll second this.
    It's true: We use this construction in the context of sports.
     

    mzsweeett

    Senior Member
    USA
    USA, American English
    Eddie said:
    :confused:Hey, Venus! Why do you hate to agree with me? What did I do wrong?:confused:
    Don't sweat it Eddie my dear.... it MUST be a "southern thang" ;)...... I always... got your back dude. :p NJ & NY gotta stick togetha!!! LMAO

    Sweet T.
     

    mzsweeett

    Senior Member
    USA
    USA, American English
    OK......

    Just to smooth the friendly quabble.... I think Venus is just sayin she regrets that the structure is the way it is and she really isn't being personal about you Eddie.... I have to say that I regret this structure too. It confuses a lot of foreigners over here.....I understand it and sometimes use it....but yet it isn't quite right is it??

    Kisses to both Eddie and Venus..... now shake hand and make like good friends again.... the coffee is fresh and good company is hard to find.....




    Sweet T.
     

    VenusEnvy

    Senior Member
    English, United States
    mzsweeett said:
    I think Venus is just sayin she regrets that the structure is the way it is
    Well, I do feel this way! It doesn't sound correct, and I can't quite figure it out. But it's just what we say!
     

    daviesri

    Senior Member
    USA English
    panjandrum said:
    :eek: REALLY:eek:
    I mean, you MUST be pulling my leg on this one; I feel the racking pain in my knee-joint already.
    :) I demand - well, respectfully anticipate - another opinion:)
    You must remember that what you are reading are probably quotes from the athletes themselves. In the US we reward athletes by allowing them to bypass the educational process.

    Personally, I go with the "I lost, or we lost" approach because I have trouble accepting that I was bested by someone. I just have bad days and lose.
     

    VenusEnvy

    Senior Member
    English, United States
    Black athletes are dominant in the NBA. Would it be a stretch to suggest AAVE as an explanation to this "beat vs. beaten" question? I wish I knew exactly what made AAVE grammar different from SE (Standard-English). I do know that their conjugation of some verbs, and verb structures differ from SE.
     

    foxfirebrand

    Senior Member
    Southern AE greatly modified by a 1st-generation Scottish-American mother, and growing up abroad.
    daviesri said:
    You must remember that what you are reading are probably quotes from the athletes themselves. In the US we reward athletes by allowing them to bypass the educational process.
    Hate to disillusion you, but I didn't bypass the educational system, it ran over me like a long, long freight train. I use "I got beat" and am happy as a walking freckle in the culotte souillée of a fille de joie doing so.

    Well, not so happy maybe-- I usually use such an expression after a poker game.

    Ever hear of a "bad beat?" That's when you thought you had the nuts but somebody sucks out on you.

    Not obscene, I swear! The nuts = best possible hand (at least so far-- one card to go) and sucks out = draws a longshot miracle card to fill an inside straight, and wins all your chips.

    So I not only say "I got beat," I've had the misfortune to utter, on occasion, "I had a bad beat" or even "Fast Eddie put a bad beat on me, at the river."
     

    foxfirebrand

    Senior Member
    Southern AE greatly modified by a 1st-generation Scottish-American mother, and growing up abroad.
    You flashed your hole card.

    Seriously, aren't most Eddies called that? Wait, I once knew a dumpster-diver called Spaghetti Eddie. So it was a lucky guess.

    Luck like that, I oughta take downtown!
     

    Isotta

    Senior Member
    English, Hodgepodge
    I don't remember ever hearing "got beat" in America. Is this possible? Is it really that common? Is it more prevalent in certain regions than in others?

    Isotta.
     

    foxfirebrand

    Senior Member
    Southern AE greatly modified by a 1st-generation Scottish-American mother, and growing up abroad.
    I think it's universal-- just judging by the votes in this thread, and my own travels. Getting beat isn't so bad-- least it ain't wuss'n gittin et by a baer!
     

    VenusEnvy

    Senior Member
    English, United States
    foxfirebrand said:
    -- least it ain't wuss'n gittin et by a baer!
    Oh, our poor, poor English-as-a-Second-Language-Learners . . . .

    Translation: At least it's not worse than getting eaten (or ate) by a bear. :D
     

    Isotta

    Senior Member
    English, Hodgepodge
    O brave new world! I have heard "I am beat," to mean "I am tired," but "got beat" sounds as dissonant to me as does "last light we was so extremely beaten."

    It is especially disarming that you use an example is written in a Southern accent. I lived in the South!

    Returning to the rock under which she apparently has been living,

    Isotta.
     

    foxfirebrand

    Senior Member
    Southern AE greatly modified by a 1st-generation Scottish-American mother, and growing up abroad.
    Yeah, I was concerned some might confuse "wuss" (worse) with "wuss" (a type of wimp). Or in some regions, whimp. I almost included rhyming words as a pronunciation guide.

    Andy Griffith reruns ain't a perfect larnin tool? Well Shazzayyum!
     

    gotitadeleche

    Senior Member
    U.S.A. English
    Isotta said:
    O brave new world! I have heard "I am beat," to mean "I am tired," but "got beat" sounds as dissonant to me as does "last light we was so extremely beaten."

    It is especially disarming that you use an example is written in a Southern accent. I lived in the South!

    Returning to the rock under which she apparently has been living,

    Isotta.
    I also live in the South and "got beat" is commonly used here. I even use it myself :eek: :eek: .
     

    panjandrum

    Lapsed Moderator
    English-Ireland (top end)
    Isotta said:
    O brave new world! I have heard "I am beat," to mean "I am tired," but "got beat" sounds as dissonant to me as does "last light we was so extremely beaten." [...]Returning to the rock under which she apparently has been living.
    Run to that rock, rock won't you hide me too:confused:

    When I suggested "We gotten beat last night!" way back at post #5, I was trying hard to pull from the depths of my imagination a seriously contorted, convoluted, implausible, impossible combination.

    :thumbsdown: There are days when I have no choice but to conclude that I don't belong here.:thumbsdown:

    Beam me up, Scottie.
     

    Nick

    Senior Member
    USA, English
    I avoid "got beat" and "got beaten". I think it's just because of the "got" -- I hate "got" and "gotten" and avoid them in most cases. In the case of "was", I would also avoid it if possible (saying "My friend beat me at chess" rather than "I was beat/beaten by my friend at chess"). I guess I could use either one, depending on the sentence: "I was beat down by a rouge wave." but "He has only been beaten three times in volleyball.". In either case I would probably use another verb -- "attacked" or "been defeated", to name a few.

    I would use "beat" in sentences like "We beat them 10-5." or "They beat us fair and square.". Also possible is the other meaning (to strike) in expressions like "We beat the dust out of the rugs on the veranda.".

    I've heard people say "We beat 21-11" (no pronoun) and that sounds so wrong to me. Is this another American/British difference or is its usage scattered?
     

    Raindear

    Member
    Philippines - Filipino & English
    Thank you, everyone, for your insightful replies. I'm with Bill Rich and Nick on this but I just wanted to know whether "got beat" is accepted in America. Fast Eddie, foxfirebrand, daviesri, VenusEnvy have answered it.
     
    Hello,

    Is "to get beat" common in American English in the context of a physical attack (as opposed to sports and games)? I'm watching American Crime and two characters have a conversation that runs like:

    A kid got beat. A girl got harrassed. It's not all about 'race'.
    — A Black student got beat. The Hispanics rallied around their own. And the minute a Black administrator tries to say soomething about it, they find a way to move you out the door.
    One is the school's principal and the other is an admninistrator, so I thought it sounded a bit funny coming from two educated adults.
     

    Forero

    Senior Member
    Where I live, beat and beaten are both valid past participles of beat. I get beat almost every time I play chess. A friend of mine has a banjo picking style that can't be beat. There is nothing ungrammatical or nonstandard about this, and it is not restricted to certain parts of society or to certain environments.
     

    DonnyB

    Sixties Mod
    English UK Southern Standard English
    This afternoon a The Guardian (UK) heading:

    Anthony Joshua: ‘When Wladimir Klitschko gets beat it could be the end'

    We'll see tonight.
    I was somewhat perturbed to discover just now that Anthony Joshua is in fact a British boxer, who comes from Watford. So where he learned to speak American English, I have no idea. :eek:
     

    Forero

    Senior Member
    Hello,

    Is "to get beat" common in American English in the context of a physical attack (as opposed to sports and games)? I'm watching American Crime and two characters have a conversation that runs like:

    A kid got beat. A girl got harrassed. It's not all about 'race'.
    — A Black student got beat. The Hispanics rallied around their own. And the minute a Black administrator tries to say soomething about it, they find a way to move you out the door.
    One is the school's principal and the other is an admninistrator, so I thought it sounded a bit funny coming from two educated adults.
    That sounds funny to me to. In this context, I would have to say "A student was beaten", not "... got beat", or more likely "A student was attacked/assaulted/battered."
     

    london calling

    Senior Member
    UK English
    I was somewhat perturbed to discover just now that Anthony Joshua is in fact a British boxer, who comes from Watford. So where he learned to speak American English, I have no idea. :eek:
    He speaks Multicultural London English (a.k.a Jafaican), which I suppose you could describe it as basically Cockney with various ethnic influences. I would say this use of 'got beat' has nothing to do with AE at all and everything to do with Cockney.;)

    Have you ever heard him speak?
     

    DonnyB

    Sixties Mod
    English UK Southern Standard English
    He speaks Multicultural London English (a.k.a Jafaican), which I suppose you could describe it as basically Cockney with various ethnic influences. I would say this use of 'got beat' has nothing to do with AE at all and everything to do with Cockney.;)

    Have you ever heard him speak?
    Ah, that would explain it. :)

    No: I didn't know who he was until I looked him up after reading eno's post.
     

    kentix

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    When I suggested "We gotten beat last night!" way back at post #5, I was trying hard to pull from the depths of my imagination a seriously contorted, convoluted, implausible, impossible combination
    The comment above is 12 years old but was never directly responded to in the thread. I wanted to make things crystal clear to Pan.

    You can feel some comfort, Pan, in that you did succeed in creating a (nearly) impossible combination. No American would routinely say "We gotten beat last night!" Maybe a drunk guy somewhere would, but no one, not even someone who says "We got beat!", would say "We gotten beat..."
     
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