Business English/Phrasal Verbs/Get

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The verb “to get” can be used in many ways. It means to obtain, have or receive, and can be used sometimes in place of the verbs, “to be” and “to become”. The verb is very flexible and sometimes, when combined with other words, can take on a whole different meaning. Following is a short list of some common verb phrases using “to get”. Note: s/b means “somebody”, s/th means “something”


Basic[edit]

(to) get drunk: to drink until intoxicated with alcohol The college boys lived to get drunk every weekend.

(to) get in s/th: to enter (a car, a body of water, a group, trouble ...) Come on, get in the car so we can go. That boy is always getting in trouble.

(to) get lost: to lose one’s way Goldilocks wandered far into the forest and soon got very lost, and had no idea how to leave.

(to) get mad: to become angry The girl got real mad when she found out that her boyfriend had forgotten to pick her up.

(to) get off s/th: to leave, especially an elevated or isolated place such as a bus, elevator or island. Opposite of “get on” We were so glad to get off of that elevator after being trapped there for over two hours in the heat.

(to) get on s/th: to enter, especially public transportation or small, elevated place. Opposite of “get off” The little girl was afraid to get on the ride at the carnival.

(to) get out: to do fun or enriching activities That lady never gets out, so has no idea what is going on in this world.

(to) get rained on: to be rained on It was a real bummer that the picnic had gotten rained on.

(to) get together (with s/b): to meet with one or more other people They got together every Thursday to play cards and catch up on each other’s lives. Spongebob got together with Patrick to plan their escape.

(to) get up: to arise, leave the bed It sure was hard to get up in the morning after drinking so much the night before.

Intermediate[edit]

(to) get along with s/b: refers to the quality of a relationship with someone I have not been getting along with my brother since he wrecked my car.

(to) get around: to be familiar with many places or things She needs some time to get around and see all that the city has to offer.

(to) get around to: to do something when time allows I’ll get in shape and pay my bills just as soon as I can get around to it.

(to) get away: to escape from work or stress to relax The family planned their vacations to get away from the city.

(to) get away with: to do something bad without consequence Not paying any taxes is like getting away with murder.

(to) get back to: to return to do something I should get back to work. We have been here at lunch for too long!

(to) get back at: to get revenge, act against a person who did one wrong After they insulted his mother, all Harry could think about was how to get back at those mean girls.

(to) get behind: to fall behind or not complete something, especially a responsibility, on time The work flow is so steady that it is easy to get behind if you do not plan and discipline yourself.

(to) get by: to live without luxury or extra money In this difficult economy it is all many families can do to get by.

(to) get down: to lower oneself from a higher position, to dance or have fun Chris hurt himself when he was trying to get down off of the bucking bronco. This warehouse party is a great place to get down with my friends.

(to) get revenge: like “to get back at”

(to) get shot (at): to be shot at Help me, I got shot! The last thing I expected walking through those woods was to get shot at.

(to) get through (to): to reach someone by telephone, to help someone understand something I finally got through when the cell phone signal got stronger. I’ve tried to get through to her for years so she can understand how she is messing up her life.

(to) get to: to be able or have the opportunity to do something, possibly in the future The children were so excited for the chance to get to go to the zoo. Emma will write a thank-you note as soon as she is able to get to it.

(to) get under s/th: to put oneself below something It sure was a good idea to get under the tree, because it kept them from getting rained on.

(to) get to: to be able to do, to arrive at The kids got to go to the zoo during the weekend. When the ambulance got to the crime scene, the driver was already dead.

(to) get wasted: to get drunk

Advanced[edit]

(to) get across s/th: to reach the other side, to communicate an idea The dead hoped to get across the River Styx in the phantom boat. The dentist hoped to get across to the students the importance of brushing their teeth.

(to) get ahead: to advance, often materially Billy was working two jobs trying to get ahead and save some money for his family.

(to) get ahead of oneself: to think or act too quickly or without thinking Now, you are starting to get ahead of yourself son, you should make a good business plan before you start sending flyers around town advertising your idea.

(to) get at (s/th): to say, often directly What are you getting at, that I am not doing enough valuable work here?

(to) get down to s/th: to eliminate the outer parts of something, to arrive at the important part of a discussion or activity We were getting down to our last bits of food when the rescue team finally arrived. Gentlemen, let’s leave the small talk to the side and get down to the business that we came for.

(to) get into s/th: to become interested in something, or to get in Grandma Moses began to get into art when she was well into her eighties.

(to) get it together: to organize or discipline one’s affairs

If that guy doesn’t get it together, he is going to have some serious problems to deal with.

(to) get out of s/th: to stop a continuing action such as a social activity or business, leave a place It was time to get out of the business when the customers all switched to the new product. Get out of here, you are driving me crazy!

(to) get over s/th: to recover from It may take Marge years to get over her divorce from Frank.

(to) get up to s/th: to reach an age, milestone or distant place The team finally got up to its goal of selling one million products.

(to) get with s/th, get “with it”: to come to understand current customs or way of thinking Come on man, get with the times, you should be wearing newer, more stylish clothes. Son, it is time for you to get with the program or you are going to get the boot.