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’.
1. GET AROUND
1) To travel to many places
– I’ve been to France, Australia and Mexico this year. I get around!
2) To become known or to circulate information
– Word got around that he was leaving the company.
3) To avoid something difficult
– Is there any way of getting around the rules so that we can bring our dog into the country?
4) To find the time to do something (used with ‘to’)
– I’ll get around to (doing) the washing up once I’ve finished my dinner.
2. GET AT
1) To criticise someone frequently, be unpleasant to someone
– She keeps getting at me for every little thing. I can’t do anything right!
2) To reach something successfully, gain access to
– The kids can’t get at the sweets because I’ve hidden them!
3) To suggest, mean or intend
– When you mentioned “local problems”, what exactly were you getting at?
4) To annoy or irritate someone
– The dogs’ barking outside really started to get at me.
3. GET AWAY WITH
1) To avoid getting caught for something you weren’t meant to do
– I got away with sitting in the reserved seats at the cinema!
2) To do something successfully even though it may not be the best choice or way
– I think we could get away with just glueing the wood together, rather than nailing it in place.
4. GET BY
1) To manage something with difficulty, to make ends meet
– Some poor families manage to get by on just £10 a day.
2) To succeed with the minimum effort
– He hasn’t revised for his exams at all, but he’s clever enough to get by.
3) To move past something or someone
– Excuse me, could you please move your bag so I can get by?
5. GET DOWN
1) To feel depressed or unhappy
– The political situation at the moment is really getting me down.
2) To party, sometimes dance
– You guys were really getting down last night! Did you have a good time?
3) To swallow food
– I know you don’t like eating vegetables, but you need to get them down.
6. GET DOWN TO
1) 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!
2) To start work or focus attention on a task
– Ok, let’s get down to business!
7. GET OFF
1) To physically leave a mode of transport
– The traffic is terrible! Let’s get off at the next stop and walk.
2) To leave work, usually at the end of the day
– What time do you get off tonight?
3) To avoid something more serious
– He got off with an automatic fine, but we thought he’d have to go to court.
4) To experience pleasure or a high
– John got off on extreme sports like paragliding.
5) To kiss
– I heard that Harry and Emma got off at the party!
6) To secure the release of a defendant in court, to be acquitted
– The thief was clearly guilty, but his lawyer got him off.
7) To succeed in doing something
– The annual meeting got off to a good start.
8. GET ON
1) To physically put yourself on or in something
– We got on the bus at the usual stop.
2) To have a good relationship with someone
– They’re brother and sister but don’t get on very well.
3) To grow old
– I saw Uncle Max the other day. He’s getting on, isn’t he?!
4) To manage a situation or continue a task
– How are you getting on with renovating your new house?
5) Becoming late
– It’s getting on a bit and will be dark soon.
6) Almost or nearly
– She must be getting on for 30, I would think.
9. GET OVER
1) To recover from something, usually an illness or unhappiness
– I had the flu all last week and I’m still getting over it.
2) To accept something that you’re unhappy about
– I was a little disappointed I didn’t get the job, but I got over it.
3) To overcome something
– She managed to get over her shyness and give a speech at her graduation ceremony.
10. GET OUT
1) To leave a place
– They were in Thailand during the Tsunami and were lucky to get out alive.
2) To become known
– Word got out about the wedding, even though they wanted to keep it a secret.
3) To go and visit somewhere
– Why don’t we get out to the countryside this coming weekend?