“Are you getting any reception?”

English Lesson: Are you getting any reception?

You're visiting the countryside with your brother and his family. You need to make a phone call, but your mobile phone is not connecting because you're too far away from the nearest cell tower. You want to ask your brother if his phone is working, so you ask him this.

Are you getting any reception?

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(someone) is getting (something)

You use "be getting ___" to talk about something that:

  • started in the past
  • is still happening now
  • will probably continue in the future
  • someone (or something) is giving or sending to you

This can be something that is continuous (continuing without stopping) or repeated. A few examples are:

I'm getting a bad feeling from this place.

I think she's getting a really good salary.

Their band is getting a lot of attention lately.

get reception

"Reception" is when a phone, a television, or other wireless device gets a clear signal. When you "get reception", it means that you can connect to the wireless service. You use it like this:

I can never get reception out at my parents' house.

When you continue to be connected to something, you say that you "have reception" or are "getting reception".

When you "lose reception" it means that you get disconnected:

Sorry I wasn't able to call you back earlier. I was driving through the mountains and I lost reception.

"Reception" is an uncountable noun, so you should not use "a" with it, but you can use "any":

I'm not getting any reception at all.

A similar phrase to "get reception" is "get a signal".