Resources: Notes on Life and Language in the United States

6 Ways to Use "Get" to Sound Like a Native Speaker

Posted by Lindsay McMahon on Tue, Mar 04, 2014 @ 08:25 AM

get uses in EnglishNative English speakers use "get" all of the time, especially here in the United States.

Do you want to be able to communicate with natives naturally?

if so, you need to learn to use "get" in every day conversations.

Don't worry, today I will show you 6 of the most common ways to use it.

Keep reading to learn!



#1) Get by


get by on fruitTo "get by" means to barely survive. This could mean that you are getting by and barely making enough money to pay the rent or it could just be a way to answer the question, "how are you?" if you are not feeling great.

  • "Since I moved to New York it has been tough to get by because the city is expensive"
  • "Can you get by on a few pieces of fruit instead of a full meal?"
  • A: "How are you?" B: "Oh I'm ok. I'm getting by."




#2) Get along

To "get along" with someone means that your personalities go well together and that you can have a nice conversation.

To "get along" can also mean to survive or to meet your needs.

  • "Do you get along with your cousins?"
  • "Are you going to be able to get along without heat in the winter?"




#3) Get out of


When you "get out of" something, like an event or a meeting, it means that you are given permission to skip it.

  • "All of my colleagues had to go to the conference but I got out of it."
  • "I promised to be at the meeting at 9am but I need to get out of it."




#4) Get ahead


graduates getting aheadTo get ahead means to advance in life or in your career.

Here are a few examples:


  • "Is a degree the best way to get ahead in the job market?"
  • "She took a summer internship to get ahead in the field of marketing"





#5) Get even


To get even means to make things equal. If someone has harmed you or has defeated you in the past, you might try to get even.


  • "That guy stole my girlfriend and I need to do something to get even."
  • "Don't try to get even when someone hurts you."




#6) Get over

To get over something means to overcome, to forget about it and to lose any negative feelings that you have.


  • "A year after they got divorced she got over her husband."
  • "How long does it take to get over a broken heart?"
  • "She was really upset when she didn't get the job but eventually she got over it."



Want to practice more natural expressions like these? Try our Speakative conversation program. Click the button below to learn more.






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