Number one for English language teachers

Your English: Phrasal verbs: get (3)

Type: Article

Make sure you don’t get behind with your phrasal verbs with this article.

The main meaning of the phrasal verb get back is to return to a place, often to ones’ home, as in ‘What time do you think you will get back tonight?’ If you get something back, you retrieve it after losing it for a particular time, as in ‘I left my glasses on the train and I don’t know how I’m going to get them back’. 

If you get back at someone, you do something to hurt or upset them after they have hurt or upset you, as in ‘She was trying to get back at him for humiliating her in front of her friends’. 

Getting back to someone means to phone, write or speak to someone at a later time because you were busy or could not answer their question earlier, as in ‘Can you tell him I’m busy and that I’ll get back to him tomorrow’. 

If two people who ended their romantic relationship get back together, they start having a relationship with each other again. Similarly, getting back with someone means to start to have a relationship with someone you had a relationship with before, as in ‘I heard from Kevin that Dave’s getting back with his ex-wife’. 

If you get behind with work or payments, you have not done as much work or made as many payments as you should have, as in ‘My daughter’s getting behind with her rent’.

In a sporting context, when fans get behind their team, they support them enthusiastically, as in ‘The crowd really got behind their team in the second half’.

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Readers' comments (3)

  • Very useful examples ! Carry on like that !

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  • Hi there,

    Thanks for the nice feedback.

    Best wishes,
    The onestopenglish team

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  • Very useful examples with one of the most common phrasal verbs using 'get'.

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