Introduction to Get Phrasal Verbs
The Everyday Language Podcast episode on the following phrasal verbs: get up, get up to, get down, get in, get off and get on.
In this podcast episode, I‘ll define and explain the usage of phrasal verbs with ‘get’. There are also example sentences and at the end is a story I’ve made to help you remember how to use these phrasal verbs with ‘get’ and see how they are used in context.
- To get out of bed; to make somebody get out of bed
A: What time did you get out of bed?
B: I got up at 9 o’clock.
- To stand up after sitting, lying, etc.
He was lying down after dinner but got up when the telephone rang.
Get up to
- To do; to be busy with; to do something bad/mischevious
What did you get up to last night? What were you busy with/ What mischief did you do last night?
Q. What have you been getting up to lately?
A. Nothing much, same as usual, really.
Q. What did you get up to last night?
A. Not a lot, just went to the pub.
Explanation of usage
This word has a slight connotation (- feeling) of mischievousness; doing something naughty. Used often in casual speech with friends.
- To reach a point
A: How much of the book have you read?
B: I got up to page 100.
- To leave the stage, or dinner table.
The speaker got down from the stage and went to her seat.
Young child: Can I get down now? (slightly formal feeling to this use)
Parent: After you’ve finished your vegetables, you can get down.
- To enjoy music (Slang/ Casual use)
It was a wicked party last night, the music was amazing everyone was getting down.
- To get down; to get depressed; to feel down.
Down is often used to express the emotion of being depressed.
I got down after failing the exam.
- To gain entry; to be allowed to enter
Person A: Did you get in?
Person B: Yeah, I got in eventually after queuing for 20 minutes.
- To arrive
Dad: What time did the train get in?
Son: It got in at 2 o’clock.
Fred: What time did you get in last night?
James: I got in at 8pm last night.
- To be elected
The labour party got in at the last election.
- as a noun – get in means is an expression of delight meaning brilliant; amazing.
- Meaning 1: To alight from the bus/ train
When you arrive at the bus or train station, you can say ‘it’s time to get off the bus now’.
In UK English get off has a negative connotation (feeling) quite often. It still means to enjoy yourself but is often connected to negative comments. It is often used in arguments where one person says to the other, “Why do you enjoy doing/saying something bad?”
“Where does he get off saying that? That’s weird.”
- Kissing/cuddling; getting intimate with a partner/lover; making love.
She was getting off with him.
In the US, ‘make out’ is often used, and means the same thing as ‘get off’ – to make love; to kiss etc..
- To have a good relationship with someone.
She gets on well with the neighbours.
Mark gets on well with cats but not with people.
- Used to talk; or ask about how well somebody is doing in a particular situation.
He is getting on well at school.
- To manage or survive; in the question form it has the same meaning as ‘how are you doing?”
A: How are you doing?/How are you getting on?
B: We’re getting on ok/ we’re managing/ we’re surviving/ we’re doing ok.
- To continue something
I need to get on with my work. The deadline is coming soon.
New Year – Get Phrasal Verbs Story
I got in the house after midnight. I had to climb through an open window as I’d lost my key. When I came down for breakfast, my mum was already there. She gave me a cup of tea, and said, when did you get in last night?
Around midnight I replied, it was snowing, and the train was late. So I didn’t get into the station till 11:30, I missed the bus. I thought about what happened last night when I was waiting at the bus station I’d seen the news. A television in the waiting room was showing the results of the election. The conservative party had lost. That meant the labour party had got in; they would be the next government.
Get in! A man next to me shouted. He was obviously happy about the news.
Then the No. 7 bus pulled into the station. As passengers were getting off, an expensive sports car arrived and parked up next to it. Loud dance music was booming from the speakers; the driver was swaying his head from side to side, he was getting off, it must have been music he liked.
There was a couple in the back seat of the sports car, a girl and guy were kissing and cuddling, and didn’t care if anyone could see. They were getting off too.
Anyway, I had to move and got on the no.7 bus before it left. I always got on well with my mum, but I hadn’t been to visit her for a while. She was grumpy sometimes, and my sister said mum, got on better with cats than with people.
Well the next morning, my mum asked how I was getting on. I said I was fine; work was ok, I was just getting on with it as always. With a serious look, she asked she asked, ‘you haven’t been getting into any mischief, have you?’
I said, ‘no mum, all that stuff is in the past, I’m just getting on with work. As you know, when you get older, you can’t get away with it anymore, you can’t do the same things as when you were younger.’
There are two phrasal verbs in the story that I didn’t explain completely during the first part of the podcast. The meaning is below.
There are also at least two verbs in the story that could be replaced with phrasal verbs with ‘get’ (that I explained in the podcast), can you see where they are?
To get away – to escape; be free of trouble
To get into mischief – to do bad things.