I’ve made each of the phrasal verb English lessons standalone, so don’t worry if you haven listened to part 1 or part 2 of the get phrasal verb podcasts. You can always go back to them and listen in any order you fancy.
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Mischief Accelerate Riddance Relationship Wake
|Get Out Of||3|
|Is The Best||2|
|To Get Away||2|
|To Speed Up||2|
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Previously I’ve done some podcasts on ‘phrasal verbs’ – that’s PHRASAL – ‘phrasal’. And it means those verbs in English which are a phrase, which are made up of more than one word. Verbs like ‘to hurry up’, ‘to dress up’ or ‘to speed up’ all have a verb and a preposition.
They exist as verbs without the preposition, but the preposition changes the meaning. And these verbs, these phrasal verbs are important because we use them all the time in speech. They tend to be a more informal expression – and usually there’s a more formal verb, which we might use instead if we’re writing.
So in more formal English, instead of saying ‘to speed up’, which means ‘to increase your speed’, we’d say ‘to accelerate’, that’s ACCELERATE. So I started to cover ‘to get’ as a phrasal verb in previous podcasts. And I covered the following:- to get along, to get at, to get away, to get by, to get into, to get in, to get on and to get off. Shall we do some more today?
So what about the phrasal verb ‘to get out’? Well it has the meaning of ‘escape’. In films and dramas, a very common phrase is ‘We’ve gotta get out of here!’ That was a terrible American accent attempt, but that’s what they say. It sounds a bit like Scooby Doo – if you know that cartoon? So ‘to get out of’ means ‘to escape’, to get free, to get away.
I’m explaining one phrasal verb with two others, I suppose! But ‘to escape’ is the best explanation. And ‘to get out of’ is not just reserved for getting away from monsters, like in Scooby Doo. You would also say ‘I had a difficult time getting out of London on Thursday, because of all the traffic’. So in this case ‘to get out of’ is more like ‘to leave’.
I had a difficult time leaving London on Thursday, because of all the traffic’ means the same. But in informal conversation, people would say ‘I had a difficult time getting out of London’.
Another meaning of ‘to get out of’? If you imagine any teenager, or yourself as a teenager and your mother or your father is coming to you with a list of jobs that they would like you to do around the house this weekend? What does the typical teenager do?
Of course, they try to avoid this list of jobs – they’ll give all kinds of reasons why it’s not going to be possible. So we’d say in informal English that they were ‘trying to get out of doing their jobs’. ‘Christopher tried to get out of doing the washing up by saying he’d sprained his hand’, ‘Rebecca got out of walking the dog because she said she had too much homework’, ‘Sarah got out of looking after her baby sister because she had a headache’. Etc. You get the picture. And it’s not just teenagers – we all sometimes try to avoid doing things we don’t like doing. We attempt to ‘get out of’ whatever it is we don’t like to do.
What about the phrasal verb ‘to get over’? Well, this one means the same as ‘to recover’. And it doesn’t mean ‘recover’ as in ‘recover an object’. That one would be like if you left your umbrella on the train – and you went to the Lost Property office – and you got your umbrella back – you ‘recovered it’.
So the more usual meaning of ‘to get over’, meaning ‘to recover’ means when you ‘recover from an illness’ or from a bad experience or from a relationship. So if someone caught COVID19 – you might ask ‘And has she recovered now? Has she got over it now?’ So it can be used, ‘to get over’, of when someone has an illness. You ‘get over’ the ‘flu, you ‘get over’ an operation, or you ‘get over’ a fall.
It can be used of a bad experience. So if someone has a bad car accident, you might say ‘And has she got over it now?’, meaning ‘Is she happy to get back into the car and drive again?’ A slight variation – Americans might say ‘Have you gotten over it now?’ that’s GOTTEN. And in both UK and US English – if someone has ended a relationship, or worse, their partner has ended the relationship with them, you might ask ‘Have you got over your relationship break up now?’ Or if you had a bad exam result that you didn’t expect and you were really sad for a time. You might eventually say ‘I’ve got over it now. I don’t feel as sad any more’.
‘To get rid’, RID – this is a phrasal verb which doesn’t use a preposition. The word ‘rid’ can also be used itself as a verb – and it means the same thing. ‘To rid yourself of something or someone’ is the same as ‘to get rid of something or someone’.
It means you dispose of it or them, you remove it or them from your life. ‘I have got rid of all my cactuses – I was fed up of being prickled’. Or ‘I’ve got rid of my latest boyfriend. I was finding him a pain in the neck’. (It doesn’t mean you’ve murdered him, it means you’ve ended the relationship hopefully!) So in speech, especially in informal speech, you’d use ‘to get rid of’ – but ‘to rid yourself of something or someone’ – that’s much more formal language.
You’d be unlikely to use that in speech. And there’s a noun that goes with this – sometimes when something or someone has been ‘gotten rid of’ (that’s that ‘gotten’ again) – and you’re pleased about it, you say ‘Good riddance!’ which is RIDDANCE. Another saying is ‘Good riddance to bad rubbish’. It might be ‘Ah finally, my daughter has got rid of that horrible husband of hers. Good riddance to bad rubbish’.
What about ‘to get together’? Well, this can mean ‘to get together’ as a couple – when two people start dating or start having a relationship. But more commonly, ‘to get together’ is what people say when they’re organising a social occasion – a party, or a barbecue or a nice evening together.
A photograph summer picnic gathering, what you might say in English a get together. As we discuss get phrases in this English lesson.
In the UK, a few weeks ago, when people were finally allowed to meet up - ‘six people from different households’ could meet in a garden, people ‘got together’ around barbecues and firepits – because the weather was still cold. So you might hear ‘We must get together soon.
Why don’t we come over to your house?’. It’s also used as a noun in informal spoken English too – ‘When are we having our next get together?’ or ‘Let’s have a get together for my birthday next Friday’.
And what about ‘to get up’. Well, this is universally used, whether formal or informal language. ‘To get up in the morning’ means ‘to rise from your bed’. To get out of bed and start your day – that’s ‘to get up’. ‘Hurry up and get up – or you’ll be late for work’.
Or ‘I get up when my alarm goes off at 7:30am’. Another phrase we might use here ‘Rise and shine!’ - ‘get up, like the sun and shine in the morning!’ So ‘to get up’ means the action of getting out of your bed and starting your day. Whereas ‘to wake up’, that’s WAKE – wake up, means that you stop sleeping, you become aware again, perhaps you open your eyes. So ‘you wake up’ and then ‘you get up’ – usually in that order!
A slightly different meaning of ‘to get up’ – there’s also ‘to get up to something’. If you ‘get up to something’ it means you do something, usually a bit suspect or a bit naughty. We might say ‘Have you been getting up to mischief?’ Mischief, MISCHIEF is another word for ‘naughtiness or being naughty’ – so things which perhaps you shouldn’t do, but they’re not serious wrongs.
If someone asks you ‘What have you been getting up to lately?’ this simply means ‘What have you been doing lately?’ But it’s sometimes used where there’s a sense that others may disapprove of what you’re doing. You might say, looking though the window at your neighbours in their garden ‘Hmmm – I wonder what those two are getting up to?’ But it’s quite light-hearted, not serious. ‘I wonder what they got up to on that hen night?’ or ‘My cat gets up to all kinds of things if I leave him alone in the kitchen.’
OK, so that’s enough phrasal verbs to be going on with. Just to recap, that’s ‘to get out of’, ‘to get over’, ‘to get rid of’, ‘to get together’, ‘to get up’ and ‘to get up to’. These are probably quite difficult to remember when you first hear them.
So listen to this podcast a number of times, to help sort out these different meanings of the verb, to help them stick in your memory. Just like it says in Rule Two of the Seven Rules of Adept English – repeating your listening is a really, really, really important part of learning how to speak English - or any foreign language. And it’s an important part of how to learn English quickly. Or more quickly, at least.
Enough for now. Have a lovely day. Speak to you again soon. Goodbye.