Advanced English expressions with get: Learn English grammar and vocabulary

Advanced English Expressions with GET


Get is one of the most used verbs in the English language.  Therefore it is not surprise that there are many phrasal verbs and expressions containing it. This post is for upper-intermediate and advanced students and it looks at advanced English expressions with ‘get’.

Get hold/ahold of (idiom) = reach someone by telephone/message/text etc

‘I couldn’t get ahold of Tom so I couldn’t ask him to join us tonight.’


Get a feel for something = begin to understand how to do something or use something

‘When you learn to drive you have to get a feel for using the gears and pedals.  After a while, you do it all automatically.’

Get a grip (on yourself) = control your emotions/behaviour

‘Get a grip! You’re embarrassing yourself in front of all these people.’


Get a move on = hurry

‘Come on you two. Get a move on or we’ll miss the bus.’


Get a word in edgewise (often pronounced edgeways) = used when someone is talking and you are unable to speak

‘My boss never stops talking. You can never get a word in edgewise’


Get at = reach

‘Can you get at that spider on the wall? It’s too high for me to reach!’


Get at = criticize repeatedly

‘My boss has been getting at me all morning but I don’t know why.’


Get at – influence someone by offering a bribe or by threatening them

‘The witness refused to give evidence. The police suspected he had been got at by the criminals but they couldn’t prove anything.’


Get off lightlyto receive a smaller than expected punishment for something you have done

I thought the thief got off lightly.  They gave him a fine and let him go.


Get off with somebody = to start having sexual contact with someone beginning with kissing and cuddling

‘He got off with John’s sister at a party and now they’ve been going out for six months.’


Get on (1) – get on with somebody = have a good relationship with


Get on (2) – get on with something = manage, deal with something

‘How are you getting on in your new job?’


Get on (3) – get on with something = continue doing after an interruption

‘I need to get on with cooking the dinner. Can I call you back later?’


Getting on (4) get older

‘We need to visit mum and dad more often now. They’re getting on a bit now and need a bit of help around the house.’


Getting on for = almost (a time)

‘We should go now. It’s getting on for midnight and I need to be at work early tomorrow.’


Get on like a house on fireto have a lot of interests in common with someone and a good relationship

‘My brothers and I have always got on like a house on fire!’


Get your foot in the door (idiom) = start working in a new company in a low level position that could allow you to progress in the future

‘Finally, I managed to get my foot in the door at Brown-Smythes. I’ve been applying for years.’


Get up to somethingDo something that other people would probably disapprove of.

‘He got up to all sorts of mischief at school but by the time he started college he began to take his studies seriously.’

Thank you for reading this article on advanced English expressions with get.  If you would like to know more, try:


Learn English Grammar: Phrasal verbs with ‘get’


36 expressions with GET

Advanced English expressions with get.


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