How Do You Use GET in English as a Phrasal Verb?

phrasal-verb

One thing that can confuse a lot of English learners is how to use GET as a phrasal verb. There are so many ways that native English speakers use the word get, it can be difficult to keep track of. In this video Gabby is going to explain in great depth the question on every English learner’s mind – how do you use GET in English as a phrasal verb? Now you will also know the many (many) ways.

GET OUT

Can mean to physically get out of something:

“I think we should get out of the bus here, it is our stop”

Or it can mean to avoid something:

“Is there a chance I can get out of work early today?”

“My son is always trying to get out of homework”

GET OFF

It can mean to physically depart or get off something:

“It is time to get off the train now, this is our stop”

“Get off the top of that car Harry, it is dangerous!”

OR it can be used as an idiom for “how can you say that?!”, best used when shocked or angry (or oftentimes both):

“where do you get off saying that to me?”

OR using the phrase “get off the hook” is another way to imply released from responsibility

“Frank almost got a speeding ticket, but the police officer let him off the hook”

“I know you did not get your homework done, but I will let you off the hook this once”

GET OVER

It can mean to physically get past something:

“Let’s just get over this hill and then we can stop for a break”

OR it can mean to get past something emotionally:

“When her pet cat died, Mary had a really hard time getting over it”

GET ON

It can mean to physically get on something:

“Maybe we should get on the train now, it looks like it will be leaving soon”

OR it can mean getting along with (mostly used in British English)

“Do you get on with your Mom alright?”

GET AROUND

It can mean to physically get around an object:

“How are we going to get around this tree that fell across the road?”

OR it can mean something figurative, to avoid something:

“Help me get around Frank, I don’t want to see him today”

“Is there any way I can get around going to that dinner at your Mother’s house?”

OR it can mean procrastinating:

“I know I have a lot of work to catch up on, I will get around to it eventually”

GET BEHIND

It can mean something physical like to get behind something:

“Linus get behind Frank, let’s try and form a line up please”

“Frank get behind that tree over there, we will hide on Linus”

OR it can mean that you support something, you stand behind them, you believe in them:

“I really can get behind the new workplace policy of no smoking in the office”

“Frank was hesitant to get behind me, but I finally convinced him to see my point of view”

GET DOWN

It can mean to physically get down from a higher level:

“You climbed too high up that tree, John, get down now!”

OR it can mean to get busy:

“Let’s get down to business, Frank! What are you proposing?”

GET ACROSS

It can mean to physically get across something:

“Do you think we can get across the river when the water is so high?”

OR it can mean getting a point across:

“I think I need to get it across to Frank that I am not interested in buying a new car”

GET ALONG

This is the North American version of the British “get on”:

“Do you get along with your Mother?”

OR it can mean to get moving or get out of here:

“Get along, stop hanging around here – shoo!”

GET AT

To get at or getting at means getting the message out:

“What are you trying to get at?” (what are you trying to say?)

OR it can mean to pester or pick at someone:

“Stop getting at me all the time!”

“I want to make Frank angry with me but he is a hard on to get at”

GET BY

It can mean something physical to get past:

“I just need to get by the semi-truck, I hate driving beside them”

OR it can mean things are so-so:

“I don’t have a lot of money, but I can get by”

“It was hard on Frank, losing Mary, but he is getting by”

GET UP

It can mean something physical, like to stand up:

“Get up out of that chair and stretch”

“I don’t want to get out of bed yet, but I guess I should get up now”

“Get up and help me move this table”

OR it can mean doing something (possibly mischievous):

“I am sure those boys are going to get up to something (likely misbehaving)”

“What did you get up to last night?”

GET INTO

It can mean something physical, like to get into something:

“Get into the car, we have to get going!”

OR it can mean trouble:

“What did you get into now?” (What sort of trouble did you get into?)

OR it can mean that you are really excited about something:

“Once I start sewing, I really get into it”

“Frank loves dancing, he really gets into it”

GET AFTER PHRASAL VERB

It can mean something physical, like to be moved:

“Frank, you get after Mary, Linus, you get after Mary – everyone line up!”

OR it can mean to get a little bit angry at someone, to complain to them

“I got after my daughter for forgetting to take the garbage out again”

“It is so annoying, the way you are always getting after me for every little thing”

GET BETWEEN PHRASAL VERB

It can mean to physically get between two objects:

“Frank, get between your wife and son, I want to take a nice picture”

OR it can mean getting between people in a relationship:

“I like going out with Susan, but when we take Mary along too she is always getting between us, trying to make me choose her over Susan”

“I feel like your addiction to gardening magazines is really getting between us”

GET THROUGH PHRASAL VERB

It can mean like you have physically gone through something:

“I don’t know how we are ever going to get through all this traffic”

OR if you get through to a person, it means they finally understand you:

“I don’t know how to get through to you, you never listen to me!”

“I finally got it through to her, she stopped putting out her cigarette butts on my lawn”

OR it can mean to go through something emotionally:

“When my dog died, I didn’t think I would be able to get through. It took a long time to feel better.”

GET IN

It can mean something physical that you go into:

“It took an hour to get into the amusement park, but it was worth it!”

OR it can mean you are excited about something:

“I never tried rock climbing before, but I think I could really get into that!”

Watch Gabby’s video now where she explains in detail on how to use GET as a Phrasal Verb!

For more videos:  Go Natural English YT 

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Picture of Gabby Wallace, M.Ed TESOL

Gabby Wallace, M.Ed TESOL

About the Author
Gabby Wallace is the Founder of Go Natural English, where you can quickly improve your confidence speaking English through advanced fluency practice. Even if you don't have much time, this is the best place for improving your English skills. Millions of global intermediate - advanced English students are learning with Gabby's inspiring, clear, and energetic English lessons. Gabby has a Masters Degree in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages from Boston University and 20+ years experience helping students become fluent through her online courses and membership program.

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