Friday, April 13, 2012

Common Uses and (American) Idioms with the Ubiquitous Verb 'GET'

The word get is the 96th most ubiquitous (commonly occuring) word in the English language, so it's important to know its multiple uses and meanings. In general get is used to describe:

  1. to receive (I got an A on my test.), (I got the job!!)
  2. to obtain (I need to get that book from the other room.), (Let's get something to eat after class.)
  3. to change (I can tell she's getting angry because her tone of voice is getting louder and louder.)  (Whenever they go to Mexico, they get drunk.)
  4. to move (We need to get there quickly!) (We need to get the children to safety.) (You won't get very far in life with a negative attitude.)

The following idiomatic expressions are commonly used with get:

  • to get it:  Don't you get it? = Don't you understand?
  • to get over something: I haven't gotten over my cold yet. = I haven't recovered from my cold yet.
  • to get over oneself:  Get over yourself! = Stop being so self centered/conceited.
  • to get something across:  I couldn't get the message across effectively because nobody had read the materials I passed out. =  I couldn't communicate effectively because nobody had read the materials I passed out.
  • to get along with somebody:  I really get along with my mother-in-law. = I have a good relationship with my mother-in-law.
  • to get a lot out of something:  She got a lot out of the seminar. =  The seminar was beneficial for her. 
  • to get together with somebody:  Do you want to get together this weekend? =  Do you want to go out this weekend?
  • to get by:  The family didn't know how they would get by after the father lost his job. = The family didn't know how they would make enough money after the father lost his job.
  • to get away with:  He got away with murder.  =  He was never punished for murder.
  • to get around to it:  I'll get around to it later. = I'll do it later. 

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