Phrasal verbs are commonly used by native speakers in everyday conversation so it’s important to learn them if you want to sound more natural in English. In this study guide, we will teach you 19 phrasal verbs with ‘get’. You will learn all of their meanings through clear explanations and example sentences. Don’t forget to test your knowledge with the exercises at the end!
To communicate an idea successfully, to make someone able to understand something The local residents got their point across at the council meeting. The book really got across what it was like to be a soldier during WWII.
2. GET ALONG
Also: get along with
To have a good, friendly relationship with someone Harry and I get along really well, but I don’t get along with Lucy at all.
To deal with a situation I’ve been getting along really well in my new job.
3. GET AROUND
To travel to many places I’ve been to France, Australia and Mexico this year. I get around!
To become known or to circulate information Word got around that he was leaving the company.
To avoid something difficult Is there any way of getting around the rules so that we can bring our dog into the country?
To find the time to do something (used with ‘to’) I’ll get aroundto (doing) the washing up once I’ve finished my dinner.
4. GET AT
To criticise someone frequently, be unpleasant to someone She keeps getting at me for every little thing. I can’t do anything right!
To reach something successfully, gain access to The kids can’t get at the sweets because I’ve hidden them!
To suggest, mean or intend When you mentioned “local problems”, what exactly were you getting at?
To annoy or irritate someone The dogs’ barking outside really started to get at me.
Many of the ‘get’ phrasal verbs in this list also have separate meanings in English slang. These are commonly used by native speakers in daily conversations. For example, ‘get over it!’ means ‘move on or forget about something’ and ‘get out of my face!’ is a rude way of saying ‘leave me alone because you are annoying me’.
5. GET AWAY
To leave or escape from someone or something Get away from me!
To go somewhere to have a rest or holiday It’ll be nice to get away! Work has been so stressful this past month.
A holiday, often short (noun) We enjoyed a weekend getaway in a lovely hotel in the countryside.
6. GET AWAY WITH
To avoid getting caught for something you weren’t meant to do I got away with sitting in the reserved seats at the cinema!
To do something successfully even though it may not be the best choice or way I think we could get away with just gluing the wood together, rather than nailing it in place.
7. GET BY
To manage something with difficulty, to make ends meet Some poor families manage to get by on just £10 a day.
To succeed with the minimum effort He hasn’t revised for his exams at all, but he’s clever enough to get by.
To move past something or someone Excuse me, could you please move your bag so I can get by?
8. GET DOWN
To feel depressed or unhappy The political situation at the moment is really getting me down.
To party, sometimes dance You guys were really getting down last night! Did you have a good time?
To swallow food I know you don’t like eating vegetables, but you need to get them down.
9. GET DOWN TO
To start working on something, especially something you’ve been avoiding I must get down to (doing) these tax returns today, or I’ll never finish them!
To start work or focus attention on a task Ok, let’s get down to business!
10. GET OFF
To physically leave a mode of transport The traffic is terrible! Let’s get off at the next stop and walk.
To leave work, usually at the end of the day What time do you get off tonight?
To avoid something more serious He got off with an automatic fine, but we thought he’d have to go to court.
To experience pleasure or a high John got off on extreme sports like paragliding.
To kiss, make out or have sex with someone I heard that Harry and Emma got off at the party!
To secure the release of a defendant in court, to be acquitted The thief was clearly guilty, but his lawyer got him off.
To succeed in doing something The annual meeting got off to a good start.
Be careful when using ‘get on/off’ vs. ‘get into/out of’. These phrasal verbs are used differently depending on the type of transport. We say ‘get on/off’ for big vehicles like buses, trams, trains, planes and ships. However, we say ‘get into/out of’ for cars, vans, lorries, boats and other smaller modes of transport. Bicycle is an exception – there is no “inside” (it only has surfaces) so it takes ‘get on/off’.
11. GET ON
To physically put yourself on or in something We got on the bus at the usual stop.
To have a good relationship with someone They’re brother and sister but don’t get on very well.
To grow old I saw Uncle Max the other day. He’s getting on, isn’t he?!
To manage a situation or continue a task How are you getting on with renovating your new house?
Becoming late It’s getting on a bit and will be dark soon.
Almost or nearly She must be getting on for 30, I would think.
12. GET ON WITH
To push or hurry somebody You’re peeling those potatoes so slowly. Get on with it!
To start or continue doing something I’ll leave you to get on with the report. I’d better get on with these tax returns.
13. GET OUT
To leave a place They were in Thailand during the Tsunami and were lucky to get out alive.
To become known Word got out about the wedding, even though they wanted to keep it a secret.
To go and visit somewhere Why don’t we get out to the countryside this coming weekend?
When you don’t believe someone, expression of shock/surprise (Amer. Eng) ‘My dad’s going sky diving for my 70th birthday!’ ‘Get out (of here)!
The slang expression ‘get out (of here)’ is common in American English. However, in the UK native speakers are more likely to use one of the following expressions to show they are surprised or shocked: ‘(Are) you having a laugh?’, ‘You must be joking/kidding!’, ‘Seriously?’, ‘My word!’ (posh), ‘Bloody hell!’, ‘Really?!’.
14. GET OUT OF
To avoid something She got out of the washing-up by saying she had homework to finish.
To physically remove yourself from somewhere When I saw the cyclist coming I got out of the way.
To stop doing something I used to sing in a choir three times a week, but I got out of it last year.
15. GET OVER
To recover from something, usually an illness or unhappiness It was really hard when Dave and I split up, but I got over it eventually. I had the flu all last week and I’m still getting over it.
To accept something that you’re unhappy about I was a little disappointed I didn’t get the job, but I got over it.
To overcome something She managed to get over her shyness and give a speech at the wedding.
16. GET RID OF
To eliminate or throw something away I want to get rid of all these boxes. They’ve been lying around for ages! Let’s get rid of all this mess before mum comes home.
17. GET THROUGH TO
To succeed in talking to someone on the telephone I had to wait for over ten minutes, but in the end I managed to get through to someone in the Customer Service Department.
To communicate successfully with someone, be understood We finally managed to get through to him and he agreed to get some therapy.
18. GET UP
To stand up We all got up to let the elderly lady past.
An outfit or costume (noun) He was in a farmers get-up and looked very funny!
To climb or ascend We managed to get up the mountain in about 3 hours.
To arise from bed, to start the day I got up at 10am this morning as I didn’t have work.
19. GET UP TO
To do something (often something mischievous) What have you been getting up to? Lucy’s always getting up to no good!
Exercises: phrasal verbs with ‘get’
Choose the correct phrasal verb to complete the sentences below:
What time did you get through/get up/get on this morning?
We get on/get out/get over so well. He’s like a brother to me!
Stop getting up/getting out/getting at me today! I feel like I’m doing everything wrong.
At the meeting, I think you got out/got across/got on the main ideas really well.
Do we get off/get along/get up here or at the next stop?
What have you been getting up/getting up to/getting at since I last saw you?
Is there any way to get on/get through/get around paying income tax?
Get out of/get over/get up the road! There’s a car coming!
Match the phrasal verbs 1-8 with their correct meanings a-h:
Get out of
Get on with
Get rid of
To feel depressed or unhappy
To become known or to circulate information
To avoid something
To start or continue doing something
To accept something you’re unhappy about
To annoy or irritate someone
To eliminate or throw something away
To communicate an idea successfully, to make someone able to understand something
Fill in the gaps with an appropriate ‘call’ phrasal verb:
He always __________ of doing his homework.
I’ve been living here for 6 months now and I’ve been __________ really well.
I can’t believe you’ve visited every city in England. You really __________!
I’ve been putting off doing the ironing all day, but I should really ___________ it.
I think you’ll have to ____________ so I can reach my seat.
I’m trying to __________ my point but I’m not sure that you understand what I mean.
Your phone ringing all the time is really __________ me! Could you put it on silent, please?
When I lost my job it was very hard to __________.
Alex Jude is the Founder & CEO of Online Teachers UK. He holds a BA hons degree in Linguistics from The University of Manchester and is a life-long English teacher. Following graduation, he spent 2002-2012 living and teaching in Russia, where he lectured in General Linguistics and Translation Studies. Alex is a fluent Russian speaker and worked with the BBC at the World Cup in 2018. In his spare time, he enjoys camping/bushcraft, playing guitar and watching rugby league.