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Hi Englishpros,

I get dressed up.

1. Is it passive? (i.e. Someone dresses the clothing for me.)

2. Or, dressed is a participal adjective which modifies the subject I.

3. Is 'dress up' a phrasal verb, in other words, 'dress' and 'up' are insperable?

4. Can I say "I dressed up" instead?

Thanks,
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Hello
1. Is it passive? (i.e. Someone dresses the clothing for me.)
2. Or, dressed is a participal adjective which modifies the subject I.

I take this kind of construct as "get-passive".
Get passives emphasize the change of a state rather than the state itself (i.e. be-passives).
"She got dressed up" means someone or she herself put clothes on her to make her better.
"She was dressed up" can mean also she was putting on smart clothes.
If you like to know more about 'get-passives', visit [url=""]here[/url].
3. Is 'dress up' a phrasal verb, in other words, 'dress' and 'up' are inseparable?

Yes. It is a separable phrasal verb. I dressed up my sister. I dressed her up.
4. Can I say "I dressed up" instead?

Yes. "Dress up" can be also an intransitive phrasal verb.
"They dressed up" means either "they got dressed up" or "they were in good dresses".

paco
If you like to know more about 'get-passives', visit here.

<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<

Great reply, Paco. I have some comments I'd like to add later after a bit more cogitating but right now, I'd like to know how you attach a link to one word, as you did [OR as you've done] with the word "here".

Obviously, it doesn't matter what the word(s) is, but I like it 'cause it's less clunky than copying & pasting a long URL.
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Hi paco or other Englishpros,

Thank you so much for providing me such a wonderful Website for learning 'get-passive.' How did you find it? And your detailed answers as well. I'd like to add in something. Free feel to write me again.

I wouldn’t call ‘get dressed up’ get-passive. But I would call ‘I got hit.’ get-passive.

When we are talking about passive. The receiver becomes the subject and the doer becomes the object of a preposition following the pattern ‘be/get + P.P.’ (i.e. receiver + be/get p.p. + prep. + doer). Most of the time, ‘prep. + doer’ is omitted. But it doesn’t mean the doer doesn’t exist. For instance, I got hit. I is the receiver. What is the doer? Well, maybe a car or a truck or even a bull. But it got to have something.

And in your conclusion, ‘They dressed up’ and ‘They got dressed up’ pretty much mean the same thing. ‘They’ is the only doer. There’s no receiver here. And it is active not passive. So, I wouldn’t call ‘get dressed up’ passive.

You can say, ‘I dressed up my sister’ or ‘I dressed my sister up’ or ‘I dressed her up.’ Don’t say, ‘I dressed up her.’

But there’s something confusing here. How do you say ‘I dressed up my sister’ in passive? ‘My sister got dressed up (by me).’ If ‘by me’ is omitted, then ‘My sister got dressed up’ would be its passive. And the Website suggests that someone should get dressed up meaning they should do it themselves. So, there is no way to tell 'my sister got dressed up' whether it means my sister dressed herself up or with someone’s help. As you mentioned in your reply: "She got dressed up" means someone or she herself put clothes on her to make her better.

Do you understand the confusion here?

We need to ask native English speakers see how they deal with it.

Thanks,
Hello JTT

Thank you for your compliment. I am waiting your posting about get passives.

Hello ML

I read Oxford English Dictionary to know the historical development of "dress up".

The word "dress" came into English through Old French, and originally it was used in sense of "to erect/raise something upright" or "to make something straight".
(EX-1) "He dressed his back unto the mast" [14th century].
(EX-2) "Trolius dressed him upwards"[Chaucer].
In those old days the verb was used always in transitive sense and when it was used in an intransitive sense, it took a form either passive or reflexive. The first use of "dress" in sense of "to clothe" appeared in 15th century.
(EX-3) "Dress us in rich array"[1440].
(EX-4) "Let us dress ourselves to go forth the journey of life"[1531]
The use of "dress up" as an intransitive began only in late 19th century
(EX-5) "I ain't going to dress up for nothing"[Alcott 1870]

So I guess the transitive "dress (somebody) up" is more "orthodox" than the intransitive "dress up".
And it may be the reason why people prefer to use "get dressed up" instead of the intransitive "dress up".

As to your opinion saying "get dressed up" is not a get passive, I can't agree to it. It is usual to leave out the agentive by-phrase in get-passive constructs even in the case the writer knows the agent,

paco
Hi paco or other Englishpros,

I've found some interesting points after a little research.

'Someone gets dressed' probably can be called 'get-passive'
The reasons are:

You may say 'I got dressed' or 'I got dressed by myself'. So, you may say the 'by-phrase', by myself, is left out and concludes that it is passive. (Most people will say 'I got dressed' instead of 'I got dressed by myself', but 'I got dressed by myself' is still acceptable.)

However, 'Someone gets dressed up' behaviors quite differently.
The only way to say it is "I got dressed up." DON'T SAY: "I got dressed up by myself."
('I got dressed up by myself' is not acceptable) So, it's not whether you'd like to keep 'by- phrase' or not. In other words, it's not the speakers' preference. If you add the 'by-phrase' in, then it becomes improper.

So I've come to the conclusion that 'Someone gets dressed up' is not 'get-passive'. At least I wouldn't call it 'get-passive'.

'Dress up' is a phrasal verb but separable and it is transitive. For instance, I dressed my sister up. My sister is the object of 'dressed up'. But 'dressed up' is separable because 'my sister' comes between dressed and up. And it is OK to say it in passive voice. 'My sister got dressed up by me' is acceptable. Why? Because the doer/agent and the receiver are two different people.

adios
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Hello ML

I'm afraid you misunderstood me. I have never said that it is possible to say "I got dressed up by myself". Both "I got dressed up by myself" and "My sister got dressed up by me" are not acceptable as English. We should never add an agentive by-phrase to a get passive even in the case we know the agent. For example, we never say "The gang got shot by a policeman" even if we know the gang was shot by a policeman. A get passive construct is an expression to emphasize what a change of state happens/happened to the subject no matter who or what brings/brought the change. So you should not add an agentive by-phrase to a get passive construct. [Please note that "I got hit by a car" is possible. Here "by a car" is used as an instrumental by-phrase.]

paco
Hi Paco,

Did you miss this?

"... right now, I'd like to know how you attach a link to one word, as you did [OR as you've done] with the word "here".

Obviously, it doesn't matter what the word(s) is, but I like it 'cause it's less clunky than copying & pasting a long URL."
Hello JTT

I'm sorry I forget to answer you about that.

You can write like 'Visit [a href="URL"] here [/a]'. (Actually you have to write "<..>" instead of "[..]")
Then you'd get what you want.

paco
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