List 14 - Phrasal Verbs




Phrasal Verb


Example Sentence

get about

To move about, especially out of bed after an illness.

Despite being an octogenarian, she certainly gets about a lot.

get across

To communicate successfully one’s ideas to others.

I just don’t know how to get my message across to them.

get ahead

To be successful.

She’s giving up politics as she feels it’s hard for her to get ahead.

get ahead of

To be in front of.

Instead of getting ahead of others, we are actually falling further behind for not working harder.

get along

To be on friendly terms. 

They are trying to get along but they are arguing all the time. 

To manage successfully.

He said he was quite happy when asked how he was getting along in his new job.

get around

To circulate.

Rumour is getting around that Nick will be marrying a wealthy man’s daughter. 

To travel from place to place. 

In the place where we visited, people got around on camels. 

To evade.

The politician somehow got around the question without giving an answer.

To solve a problem. 

The four of us got around the problem of cost by sharing one hotel room. 

To do something that should have been done earlier.

We finally got around to shearing the sheep.

To persuade. 

Let us get around him to join us for a quick swim before breakfast. 

get at

To make repeated criticisms against someone and cause them to feel annoyed. 

She didn’t seem to like him as she kept getting at him. 

To state indirectly. 

Nobody knew what he was getting at by making a remark like that. 

To reach something. 

Someone put that book on the top shelf and now I can’t get at it.  

To find out something. 

We still think he's the one who stole it; somehow, we will get at the truth.

To bribe, or illegally influence someone.

The father got at the police, and the charges against his son were dropped.

get away

To escape. 

I want to know who deliberately opened the cage and let the bird get away? 

To break free. 

He told his friends that the one that got away was that big, using his hands to indicate the size of the fish. 

To holiday somewhere.

The boss felt he was overworked and that he needed to get away for a few days in Hawaii.

get away from

To face fact.

We cannot get away from the fact that we just cannot afford to buy a new car.

get away with

To escape punishment for something wrong that one has done. 

He must have thought he could get away with murder; he’s now in prison for life. 

To succeed in doing something, which is not right.

Maybe we can get away with entering the stadium for the match without tickets.

get back

To return to a place.

We didn’t get back in time to watch the television programme.  

To do something in retaliation. 

She sworn to get him back for the remarks he made.

To have something returned.

She still hasn’t got her puppy back after spending the weekend looking for it.

get back to

To return to talk to someone. 

I’ll get back to him after he has calmed down completely. 

To do something again. 

I hope he won’t interrupt again; let’s get back to our conversation.  

To talk to someone again on the telephone.

She said she would get back to me in five minutes; it’s already one hour and I’m still waiting for her call.

get behind

To be in arrears.

Bob has got behind with his rent and is now avoiding the landlord.

get by

To succeed in managing. 

He has to stop smoking and drinking as his old age pension is barely enough to get by. 


To be unnoticed or ignored.

The handball got by the referee, and a penalty was not given.

get down

To swallow. 

These pills were a bit too big, and I had a hard time getting them down. 

To make depressed or unhappy. 

The frequent arguments between the parents are starting to get the children down. 

To write down.

He was a good speaker and we tried to get down all that he said.

get down to

To start doing something.

It’s time to stop talking and get down to clearing out our bedroom.

get in

To enter a place.

There were grossly fat people in the lift and we couldn’t get in.

get into

To cause surprise by behaving differently. 

Something must have got into him; he doesn’t usually behave like that. 

To become interested in something.

Since her divorce, she has got into yoga.

get off

To send a letter, parcel, etc. 

The post office has just closed; now how am I going to get this letter off? 

To get out of a vehicle.

The passenger fell getting off a bus while it was still moving. 

To receive little or no punishment.

He got off owing to insufficient evidence.

get on

To go onto a bus, etc. 

I got on a wrong bus the other day and ended up next to a cemetery. 

To be able to manage. 

How are you getting on in your new job in the lighthouse? 

To have a good relationship.

The grandfather and his grandson don’t seem to get on with each other.

get out

To publish. 

He is getting the next edition of his book out by the end of the month. 

To help to escape.

They believed he got out with outside help.

get out of

To avoid. 

We’re having dinner with my mother-in-law tonight, but I’m planning to get out of it. 

To gain something that is useful. 

The seminar was about the same as the others; I didn’t get much out of it. 

To stop someone doing something habitually.

Someone has to tell him to get out of constantly interrupting.

get over

To recover from a bad or sad experience.

She still hasn’t got over the death of her parrot.

get over with

To complete an unpleasant but necessary task.

It is getting over with the funeral that I am looking forward to.

get through

To pass an exam, test, etc. 

I nearly killed myself when I failed to get through my final exam. 

To succeed in making contact by telephone. 

It was the fifth attempt that I got through to the department. 

To make someone understand something.

We must try to get through to him that it’s dangerous to perform the stunt.

get to

To begin. 

When she got to talking about politics, nothing could stop her. 

To adversely affect.

I think I am moving out; the constant traffic noise is really getting to me.

get together

To come together.

When we get together for a drink, we always end up arguing.

get up

To stand up. 

Everybody gets up when the woman boss enters. 

To wake up.

He only gets up when the second alarm clock goes off.

get up to

To do something bad or suspicious.

What are those fellows getting up to – walking in the middle of the road in the middle of the night?





Phrasal Verb


Example Sentence

give away

To present bride to bridegroom. 

Is it the bride’s father, mother or eldest brother who gives the bride away? 


To make free offer. 

The store is giving away a packet of rat poison with every packet purchased. 


To unintentionally disclose secret information. 

She was to keep it a secret, but she gave it away. 


To let others have the things we no longer need.

Since we no longer use all these clothes, why don’t we just give them away?

give back

To return.

He hasn’t given back the money I lent him two years ago.

give in

To stop opposing.

We are a weak team, but we always play to win; we never give in.

give in to

To submit.

My best friend, a henpecked husband, always gives in to his wife.

give of

To devote one own self.

She used to give of her free time to help charitable work.

give off

To send forth smell, energy, heat, etc.

Some insects give off unpleasant smell.

give out

To distribute. 

Someone is giving out free samples of a brand-new snake oil.

To fail to operate in the usual or proper way.

Near the end of the race, his legs gave out causing him to knee down.

give over to

To submit oneself to feeling or doing something.

After his girlfriend left him, he gave himself over to excessive drinking.

give up

To stop doing something. 

They searched for the missing child, but eventually gave up and made a police report. 

To surrender. 

The fugitive wanted by police gave himself up. 

To abandon what one has been trying to do.

She gave up writing a book on the diverse sizes and shapes of the dinosaurs.

give up on

To lose hope.

After waiting for two hours for the rain to stop, we soon gave up on it stopping any time soon.

give up to

To be emotionally overwhelmed.

The family of the deceased gave themselves up to considerable grief.

go about

To begin to deal with something. 

We should discuss how to go about imposing discipline in the workplace. 

To begin working at something. 

The police recruits were shown how to go about patrolling the areas. 

To do what one usually does.

Despite some civil unrest, people go about their business as usual.

go after

To try to catch someone. 

Police went after him in an abandoned house, but he had already fled. 

To try to get something.

He preaches that you can get what you go after in life if you have the determination.

go against

To disagree. 

She went against her mother’s advice when she divorced her husband. 

To be unfavourable to.

The judgment went against them, and they intend to appeal to a higher court.

go ahead

To happen. 

They went ahead with building the chemical plant despite strong local opposition. 

To give permission. to do something

When asked if I could borrow some of his tools, he told me to go ahead.

go along

To continue with something.

We will make the necessary adjustments as we go along with the project.

go along with

To agree.

I’m afraid I can’t go along with your idea.

go around

To happen in the present time. 

A rumour is going around that someone is going to be fired. 

To meet the requirement. 

The problem now is we don’t have enough chairs to go around. 

To do something that is not supported or proven by evidence. 

You can’t go around thinking everyone is unfriendly to you. 

To go here and there.

She often goes around talking to her own self.

go at

To attack with energy and enthusiasm. 

The two fighting cocks went at each other with killing intent. 

To commit oneself to an undertaking.

They went at building the levee with urgency and energy.

go away

To spend time elsewhere from home. 

We are going away to one of those tropical islands this Summer. 

To leave.

She was so angry with him that she told him to go away and leave her alone.

go back

To return for something. 

I left my wallet at home and now I’ve to go back for it. 

To return home, hotel, etc. 

We had better go back; it’s going to rain. 

To break one’s promise.

She has gone back on her word to marry him.

go back to

To do something again.

She decided not to go back to work after her delivery.

go by

To act in accordance with a rule, decision, etc. 

Go by the rules or I am not playing. 

To follow something. 

You go by that old map and now we are lost. 

To pass.

Years have gone by and there’s still no news about the escaped prisoner.

go down

To move below the horizon. 

While having a meal at a seaside resort, we watched the sun go down. 

To be accepted.

Your proposal didn’t go down well with the others at the meeting.

go for

To like a particular type of person or thing. 

Jenny is known to go for tall and handsome men with considerable wealth.

To attack physically or with words. 

The untruth of what he said about her made her go for him. 

To make great efforts to get something. 

James is determined to go for the gold medal this time. 

To like someone or something better than another or others; to choose.

Unlike her friends, she always goes for fast food.

go in

To enter a place. 

No one knows why he goes in the cemetery after dark. 

To start a business with someone.

He is not going in with his inexperienced friends to start a catering business.

go in for

To hunt and kill for food.

The rodent was injured, and the hawk went in for the kill.

go into

To join a profession. 

He hasn’t decided to go into teaching or journalism. 

To do or produce something. 

Considerable effort, time and money went into organizing the event. 

To discuss or explain in detail.

I don’t want to go into any more detail than absolutely necessary.

go off

To explode. 

The bomb went off prematurely and killed the bomber. 

To make a loud noise. 

His alarm clock went off at 6.30 and woke me up as well. 

To stop working.

The whole stadium was plunged into complete darkness when the lights went off.

go off with

To leave a loved one for someone else. 

She has gone off with her brother-in-law. 

To use something without permission.

This is the third time he’s gone off with my motorbike.

go on

To pass. 

As time went on, I became more attracted to her. 

To do something next. 

Can you go on to the next topic? This one is very boring. 

To take place. 

I just woke up and I didn’t know what was going on. 

To go on to do something or become somebody. 

He went on to become the first mayor of the city. 

To continue.

We are waiting for her to go on with the ghost story.

go out

To go to any place outside one’s home. 

I don’t usually go out unless I have to. 

To stop burning. 

The fire in the fireplace had gone out while we were sleeping. 

To have a relationship. 

He has been going out with somebody’s wife. 

To lose in a sports competition.

It’s the first time they went out at the quarter-final stage.

go over

To look at closely.

Let’s go over the figures again and see why they don’t tally.

go through

To experience. 

She went through the terrible five-hour ordeal while being held as a hostage. 

To examine carefully. 

The officers went through our luggage very carefully. 

To be discussed and voted on to become law.

A bill has to go through Parliament before it can become law.

go through with

To do something that has been agreed or promised.

Jane feels she isn’t ready yet to go through with the wedding.

go together

To be well-suited. 

Purple trousers and an orange shirt don’t go together. 

To be found together.

If you know her, you will know brain and beauty do go together.

go under

To fail. 

Many small businesses go under in the first year of operation. 

To sink.

The ship went under shortly after colliding with a giant iceberg.

go up

To be built. 

Many tall buildings have gone up since my last visit here. 

To explode. 

The accident caused one of the cars to go up in flame. 

To increase.

The price of petrol has gone up again.

go with

To suit. 

Does Ivan’s baldness go with his bushy beard? 

To have a romantic relationship. 

His wife was the only woman he ever went with. 

To combine something with something else. 

A chauffeur-driven car goes with the job. 

To accept an idea.

Bob has come up with the best plan, let’s go with it.

go without

To not have something.

A new car is something we have to go without as we cannot afford it.