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11 / 11 / 2003

USING THE WORD GET-5: meaning and examples

Hello again.

Today is the fifth Daily Vitamin, in a series of five, dedicated to the incredibly versatile English verb TO GET.

There are dozens of phrasal verbs that are formed with GET. Some have meanings that correspond quite closely to their parts (for example, get away means to escape), but others must be memorised; for example, get at can mean to discover the true facts about something or to try to suggest something without saying it directly. Consider the following examples.

Example 1: The prisoner tried to get away, but the guard was able to stop him.

Example 2: There is an attempt to keep the press from getting at the truth about Letizia's past.

Example 3: What are you getting at? Why don't you just say what you mean directly?

There is no secret to learning phrasal verbs, but it's necessary to clarify their meanings and organise them in your head. Keeping phrasal-verbs lists is one option that helps many learners.

I hope you have a good day!