TO GET + direct object = to obtain, to receive, to buy:

To obtain


  • She got her driving license last week.
  • They got permission to live in Switzerland.

To receive


  • got a letter from my friend in Nigeria.
  • He gets $1,000 a year from his father.

To buy


  • She got a new coat from Zappaloni in Rome.
  • We got a new television for the sitting room.

TO GET + place expression = reach, arrive at a place:


  • We got to London around 6 p.m.
  • What time will we get there?
  • When did you get back from New York?

TO GET + adjective = to become, show a change of state:


  • It’s getting hotter.
  • By the time they reached the house they were getting hungry.
  • I’m getting tired of all this nonsense.
  • My mother’s getting old and needs looking after.
  • It gets dark very early in the winter.
  • Don’t touch the stove until is gets cool.

TO GET + preposition / adverb is used in many phrasal verbs. Here are some of the most common ones:


Phrasal Verb


get at

try to express

get away with

escape punishment for a crime or bad action

get by

manage (financially)

get down

descend; depress

get off

leave a form of transport
(train, bus, bicycle, plane)

get on

enter/sit on a form of transport
(train, bus, bicycle, plane);
have a relationship with someone;

get out of

avoid doing something, especially a duty

get over

recover (from an illness, a surprise)

get through

use or finish the supply of something

get up

leave your bed

get up to

do – usually something bad


  • He got on his bicycle and rode down the street.
  • He gets up at 6.00 a.m. every morning.
  • She got out of the washing-up every day, even when it was her turn.
  • We got off the train just before the bomb exploded.
  • We’ve got through all the sugar – can you buy some more?
  • The children are very quiet – I wonder what they’re getting up to.