Tim Bowen is here to help you get out of studying phrasal verbs with his latest round-up.
The phrasal verb get off has multiple meanings, most of which can be adequately conveyed by the meaning of the particle off, e.g. ‘What time do you get off work?’ A less obvious meaning of get off is to avoid punishment for something you have been accused of in court, as in ‘He was charged with dangerous driving but, to everyone’s surprise he got off’.
If you get on with someone, you have a friendly relationship with them, as in ‘How do you get on with your boss?’ Always used in the progressive forms, getting on can be used to indicate that someone is fairly old, as in ‘Uncle George is getting on a bit now’, and the phrase ‘It’s getting on’ can be used to suggest that it is quite late, as in ‘It’s getting on so we’d better be going now’.
If something secret gets out, a lot of people find out about it, as in ‘There was a public outcry when the news got out’. If you get out of doing something, you avoid doing something that you should do or that you said you would do, as in ‘He always tries to get out of doing the washing up’.
Apart from its meaning of ‘recover from’, the phrasal verb get over can also be used in the context of feeling happy again after a relationship has ended, as in ‘It took him a long time to get over Lisa’, and also for saying that you are very surprised by something, as in ‘I just can’t get over how expensive that meal was!’