Get is one of the commonest verbs in the English language and
can be used in a wide variety of ways. It can be combined with a wide
variety of prepositions and adverbial particles, which increases the
range of meaning and use even further. Compare the following use of
get with prepositions or adverb particles beginning with the letters
a, b and d (all I have space for in this reply):
get around = visit many places
get round / get around something = find a solution
get (a)round someone = persuade someone to do something
get (a)round to = do something after some delay
- He really gets around. He was in Devon and Cornwall
last week and this week he's in Wales.
- Tobacco advertising is not allowed, but tobacco companies
get around this by sponsoring sporting events.
- Michael always knew how to get round his aunt.
She would allow him to do anything he wanted.
- We've been living here for six years, but it was only this
year that I got round to cleaning out the shed.
get at = reach, criticize, mean
get away = leave, escape
get away with = escape punishment
- The birds have got at all my soft fruit, in spite
of the netting I was using.
- He refused to discuss the matter, so there was no way of
getting at the truth.
- Just because I refuse to follow the fashion, my sister is
always getting at me.
- He never says what he means, so I've no idea what he's
- You should try to get away sometimes at weekends -
you'd feel more relaxed.
- The prisoners were apparently trying to get away when
they were shot.
- I know you've got away with it on numerous
occasions but shoplifting is a crime and you shouldn't do it.
get back to something = return to it
get something back = to have it returned
get by = just about manage
get something down = write something down, swallow something
something gets you down = something depresses you
get down to something = begin doing something difficult
- I woke up at four this morning and couldn't get back to
- If you don't want it and return it within thirty days, you'll
get your money back.
- We've only got Ron's pension to live on, but we can just
about get by.
- If you drink some water with them, you'll find it easier
to get these tablets down.
- This sort of work really gets me down, but
there are no other jobs around here so I'll just have to put up
- I'll try and get down to it tomorrow after breakfast
- it's too late to start it now.