For today’s lesson ,I thought I would step back from grammar and help you with some vocabulary. Well, technically phrasal verbs come under the grammar umbrella but I think it’s easier to describe them as vocabulary.
As I haven’t spoken about phrasal verbs before, I will quickly explain what they are. But don't worry, I’ll write another article explaining in detail what phrasal verbs are how we use them.
The simple explanation of a phrasal verb is the following:
Phrasal verb = verb + preposition
Yep that’s it! Sounds easy right. Well not quite! What happens is that when we use a preposition with a verb, the meaning changes completely. This increases the various meanings a verb can have and makes it difficult for learners of English to understand all of them.
In the example below, I will show you 11 examples of phrasal verbs with the verb get. The verb get by itself has a few meanings already, for example:
- Can you get some bread at the shop? (get = buy)
- Can you get the sugar from the kitchen? (get = bring)
Below you will see how the meaning of get changes according the preposition we use after it.
= to communicate.
Meaning: to make someone understand something. (Especially if the details are too difficult to understand or if the person being explained to understands poorly).
- Although I couldn't speak the language, I managed to get my meaning across when necessary.
- Your meaning didn't really get across.
- He's not very good at getting his idea across.
Get along - Get on with
= to have a good / friendly relationship with someone.
(get on is used more in Britain)
- Even though there are six of them sharing the house, they all get on well with each other.
- He doesn't get along well with his mother-in-law.
- Our new boss is very easy to get on with.
1. = to become known. To spread or to circulate. If news or information gets around, people tell other people, so that soon many people know about it.
- It's a small place, so news and gossip get around pretty quickly.
- The news of his arrest got around quickly.
- News soon got around that Matthew was back in town.
2. = to find a way of avoiding a difficult or unpleasant situation, so that you don't have to deal with it.
- There is no way of getting around it - you are going to have to tell her the truth.
- Isn't there any way of getting around the regulations?
1. = to reach, to access to something.
- The cupboard is too high for me to get at.
- The report is locked in the cabinet and I can't get at them.
2. = to suggest something indirectly, to imply. (used only in the continuous tense)
- What exactly are you getting at? (=trying to say, suggest)
1. = to go away from someone or something
- Get away from me!
- Get away from that cake!
- It was so busy that Francisca couldn't get away from the phone all day.
2. = to escape from someone who is chasing you.
- They tried to get away from the police but they weren't quick enough.
3. = to have a holiday.
- We hope to get away for a couple of weeks around Christmas.
1. = to cause someone to be depressed.
- This weather is getting me down
- Don't let these problems get you down too much.
Get down to
1. = to reach the point of dealing with something.
- Now, let's get down to business
2. = to begin to work on something seriously. To give serious attention to something.
- It's time I got down to some serious work.
3. = to finally start doing something, after you have been avoiding it or after something has prevented you from doing it.
- Once it is Summer, we will get down to painting the house.
1. = to put yourself on or in something
- I get on the bus at 8am every morning.
- We got on the train just before it left.
2. = to remind someone to do something; to continue
- Your story is taking all day. Get on with it!
Get out of
1. = to avoid something
- He always tells his parents he has homework to get out of doing the dishes.
- She was lucky to get out of that dangerous situation.
2. = to physically remove yourself from somewhere or something
- I got out of bed as soon as my alarm went off.
- The police officer told me to get out of the car.
1. = to recover from something or return to your usual state of health or happiness.
- I thought he would never get over her illness.
- It took her a long time to get over their separation.
- He never got over the shock of losing his wife.
2. = to overcome or deal with or gain control of something.
- She can't get over her shyness.
Can't get over
1. = to be amazed or surprised by something.
- I can't get over how much your kids have grown.
So there you go. A lot of examples of phrasal verbs with the verb get. There are many more with get but consider this as an introduction and over time I will give you more and more.
Phrasal verbs are very hard for non-native English speakers to use so be patient and practice a lot. You will hear a lot of phrasal verbs in films so listen carefully when watching American and British films.
If you have any questions about phrasal verbs or not sure you understand the some of the examples above, you can ask questions at the bottom of this page.