Learning Vocabulary: Get
In this week's Premier Skills English Podcast, Rich gets angry because he has to get the bus. The language focus is on the verb with the longest entry in the dictionary - get. Jack and Rich look at five different ways of using get and how it can help you sound more natural when you are speaking. Your task is to transform 10 different sentences using phrases with get in order to make the sentences more natural sounding. As always, we also have a new football phrase for you to guess. Enjoy!
We also did a video version of this podcast on the Premier Skills - British Council Facebook page. It's an experiment. Have a look and tell us what you think. It would be great to hear your opinions.
Jack: Hey Rich, you’re a bit late. Did you get stuck in traffic again?
Rich: No, not today. I had to get the bus! I hate getting the bus. I’ve got a horrible cold too. I’m not having had a good start to the day.
Jack: The bus? What’s wrong with your car? Did you get a flat tyre again?
Rich: No, but it did break down. I didn’t get in till eleven.
Jack: Did you get someone to help you?
Rich: Yes, I got my wife to come. She knows more about cars than me.
Jack: I could have helped.
Rich: I sent you a message.
Jack: I didn’t get it. Sorry.
Rich: I didn’t even get home in time to watch the football.
Jack: Harry Kane got his first Champions League hat-trick for Spurs and Liverpool drew with Spartak Moscow. They should have won, though. It was a good game.
Rich: I was gutted to have missed it but I’ll get over it. They’re playing again in a couple of weeks.
Welcome - Get
Rich: Hello my name’s Rich
Jack: and I’m Jack
Rich: and welcome to this week’s Premier Skills English podcast
Jack: Where we talk about football and help you with your English.
Jack: What’s happening this week, Rich?
Rich: In this week’s podcast, we’re looking at vocabulary and going to look at some phrases that will help you sound more natural when you’re speaking.
Jack: That’s right. We’re going to look at the word ‘get’ and how we can use it to sound friendlier - especially when we are talking in informal contexts.
Rich: And, we’ve got a couple of tasks for you to do while listening to the podcast so listen carefully.
Jack: Don’t forget, there is more information about the language we use on the page below and activities to help you understand.
Rich: Make sure you listen to the end of the podcast because we’ve got another football phrase for you as well.
Jack: Did you know that the word ‘get’ is the verb with the longest entry ... well, one of the longest entries ... in the dictionary?
Rich: No, I didn’t, but I did know that it has lots of different meanings and can be used in many different ways.
Jack: The dictionary I’m looking at has got two pages - just about get.
Rich: So, are we going to teach the word ‘get’ in this podcast?
Jack: No, I think that would be too much, but we are going to look at some of the ways it is used.
Rich: That’s a good idea. It’s a very important word. It’s not only important because it has lots of meanings but it’s also important in other ways too.
Jack: A lot of the phrases we use with get are very common and if you use them, your English will sound natural. For us teachers, it’s easier to teach simple verbs with clear meanings, but they are not always the verbs we use.
Rich: Yes, it sounds much more natural and friendly if I say I got a present from my mum than if I say I received a present from my mum or Do you think we’ll get to the match on time instead of Do you think we will arrive on time?
Jack: Some of the messages we get ... not receive ... on the Premier Skills English website are perhaps a bit too formal. This can often happen if you speak a Latin-based language like French, Spanish, Italian or Portuguese.
Rich: This is because it’s often easier to choose a word that is similar in your own language, but the problem is that sometimes using the Latin-based words can sound too formal or sometimes a bit unfriendly.
Jack: So, if we want to sound friendlier we should use more phrases with get?
Rich: Yes ... and no. We don’t want you to use phrases like get lost. That can be rude. But, usually, phrases with get sound more natural and friendlier when you are talking.
Jack: What else is important about get? What about pronunciation? Gotten I sometimes hear this. It’s American, isn’t it?
Rich: Yes, you could hear a phrase like ‘he had gotten us tickets for the match’ which means something like he had gone and got us some tickets.
Jack: It’s actually an Old English word that is not used in the UK anymore but is still used in the US. We still use forgotten but we don’t use gotten anymore.
Rich: The most common way to speak about something that you have to do is to say ‘I’ve got to’ or ‘I’ve gotta’
Jack; It’s important to focus on the pronunciation here. Have a listen. Gotta … I’ve gotta go to work this morning. I’ve gotta remember to buy some milk.
Rich: So, we’ve spoken about the pronunciation and why get is important and in the next part we’re going to look at some common phrases and collocations that use get.
Rich: Every week we give you a task to do in the comments at the bottom of the page on the Premier Skills English website.
Jack: Last week we asked you to answer some questions about football and write other questions for our listeners and at the same time leave gaps where you might have to write articles such as the or a.
Rich: We are very happy to see you using the comments section to do the task. Sabonaleg from Ukraine correctly identified Eric Cantona
Jack: And thanks to Hariyuki from Japan for his question and thanks to Liubomyr from Ukraine for answering it.
Rich: It was also interesting to find out that neither Ukrainian nor Japanese use articles in their language. It’s great to see you all interacting with each other on the website. What’s this week’s task, Jack?
Jack: This week we’ve actually got two tasks for you to do. First we’re going to ask you to complete some sentences using phrases with get. Your second task is more complicated. We want you to change some language and use phrases with get so that it sounds a bit more natural.
Rich: So, your first task is to listen to five different sentences with gaps in and then listen to explanations of how we use get. You can use the explanations to complete the sentence. OK ... let’s go. Sentence 1.
Jack: The train is not going to ______ until six so I’ll be a bit late, sorry.
Rich: Some common phrases with get mean to arrive. It is often added to places. You can get home, get to work or school, or you might say ‘I got there at six’ or ‘I’m going to get there before you.’ You can also get in. I might say I got in late when talking about arriving at my house.
Jack: Rich said that he got in at eleven last night. He got home at 11 ‘o’clock.
Rich: Did you complete the sentence?
Jack: The train is not going to get in / get there / get to the station / get to Manchester until six so I’ll be a bit late, sorry.
Rich: The players _________ when it started to rain.
Rich: Some phrases with get can mean to become. You can get wet, get tired, get rich, get angry, get scared.
Jack: Rich got angry when his car broke down.
Rich: I didn’t get angry. I got a little cross but I didn’t get angry.
Jack: Did you complete the sentence?
Rich: The players _________ when it started to rain.
Jack: I’ve ______ a cold and I feel awful. I think I’ve ______ the flu.
Rich: Some phrases with get can mean to catch something, like infectious illnesses, that you can catch from other people. You can get a cold or measles. You can get malaria from mosquitoes.
Jack: You can also catch public transport. You can get a bus or you can get a train. Rich’s car broke down so he had to get the bus today.
Rich: Yes, I did. I hate having to get the bus … anyway … Did you complete this sentence?
Jack: I’ve got a cold and I feel awful. I think I’ve got the flu.
Rich: What did you ___ for your birthday?
Jack: Some phrases with get can mean to receive something. You might get help with your English from a teacher or you might get a present for your birthday or get a promotion or pay rise at work.
Rich: Harry Kane got his first Champions League hat-trick. He got the match matchball after his hat-trick this week.
Jack: Did you complete the sentence?
Rich: What did you get for your birthday?
Jack: I don’t _______.
Rich:: Some phrases with get can mean to understand. You might not get a joke when someone tells one or you might not get what someone is trying to say to you. I’m going to tell you a joke. Why did the chicken cross the road?
Jack: Err … I don’t know. Why did the chicken cross the road?
Rich: To get to the other side. ... Did you complete the sentence?
Jack: I don’t get it.
Jack: We said earlier that using phrases with get are common when you are speaking and help you sound more natural and are often friendlier.
Rich: The language that learners sometimes use is too formal and serious which can make you sound a bit unfriendly.
Jack: This is often the case if your first language is latin-based like Spanish or French.
Rich: Our second task for you today is to change some sentences to make them sound friendlier and more natural.
Jack: We’re going to read out five sentences. Your job is to listen to each sentence and write a different sentence in the comments section without changing the original meaning.
Rich: When you change each sentence you need to include a phrase with get. If you find this difficult, there are some clues on the page.
Jack: Number one: Sorry I’m late. I was delayed by traffic.
Rich: Number two: We are very good friends. We have a friendly relationship.
Jack: Number three: He’s sick but I’m sure he will recover in the near future.
Rich: Number four: You can’t always receive everything that you desire.
Jack: Number five: I’ll send you a message when I arrive at my house.
Can you work out this week’s football phrase?
Rich: Have you got a football phrase for us this week?
Jack: Yes, I have, but first, last week’s football phrase. The phrase was to be in form. The phrase means that a team or player is performing well. Manchester Utd and City are in form at the moment because they are winning and playing well.
Rich: Well done to Liubomyr and Numrut from Ukraine, Ahmed Adam from Sudan and Kwesimanifest from Ghana. You were the only ones to get it right last week - it was a difficult one. What’s this week’s football phrase?
Jack: This week’s football phrase is to **** *** ******. This phrase is what a striker often does when he is one on one with the player that plays in goal. He runs towards the goal and ***** *** ******. The ball goes over the head of the opponent and into the net. It sounds like something you might eat when watching the match!
Rich: Yes, but are we talking about British ones or American ones. I like eating both, to be honest!
Jack: Right, that’s all we have time for this week! Don’t forget to write your answers to our questions and make a guess at our football phrase in the comments below.
Rich: And don’t forget to listen to our round-up show called ‘This Week’. All the action from Matchweek 7 will be on the Premier Skills homepage on Monday.
Jack: Bye for now and enjoy your football!
How much did you understand?
In the podcast, Rich and Jack used some words and phrases that might be new for you. Do you know the words in bold?
You're a bit late, Rich. Did you get stuck in traffic?
I was gutted to have missed the match but I'll get over it.
There were a few more tricky words in the podcast. Do you know what they all mean? Try the activity below, then, listen to the podcast again to hear how we used the words.
Phrases with get
In this week's podcast, Jack and Rich spoke about the word get. Did you know that it is one of the most frequent verbs in the English language? Jack and Rich spoke about some of the most common meanings of phrases which include get. They discussed five different meanings.
We can use phrases such as get to work, get home and get to school to talk about arriving at a place. We can also use phrases with get such as I'll never get there on time or I'll get there before you to talk about places. Another common phrase is get in to talk about arriving at your house. You might say I got in at ten last night or I got in really late on Friday. In the podcast, Rich said:
I didn't get home in time to watch the football.
We can use phrases such as get angry, get tired and get old to talk about changing state. This usually follows the pattern of get + adjective. You are one thing and then you are another. In the podcast, Rich said:
I didn't get angry. I got a little cross but I didn't get angry.
To catch something
We can use phrases such as get a cold, get malaria, get the flu to talk about infectious diseases that you can catch. This is actually similar to when we say get a bus or get a train to describe catching public transport something is passing (a bus or an illness) and we catch it. In the podcast, Rich said:
I had to get the bus and I've got a terrible cold too. I'm not having a good day.
To receive something
We can use phrases such as get help, get a promotion or get a present to talk about things that you receive. In the podcast, Rich asked:
What did you get for your birthday?
To understand something
We can use phrases such as do you get it to say that you don't understand something. It's more common in the negative than the positive. You might respond to a person speaking in a language you don't know well with I don't get what you are saying or when you don't understand a joke you might say:
I don't get it.
In the activity below, take a look at some sentences that use phrases with get and decide which of the above five meanings are being used.
When we are talking we want to sound as natural and fluent as possible. Using phrases with get can make you sound much more natural when you are speaking. Compare the dialogues below:
A: Did you get my message?
B: No, I didn't get it. Sorry.
A: Did you receive my message?
B: No, I didn't receive it. Sorry.
A: You look tired.
B: I am. I didn't get home until twelve last night!
A: You look tired.
B: I am. I didn't arrive at my house until twelve last night.
It is often better to use phrases with get when you are speaking because these phrases sound more natural and more informal. This can be difficult if your first language is Latin-based (French, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese etc.) because it is easier for you to use the Latin-based words that exist in English. However, these words are often more formal and usually used less frequently than phrases with get.
In this activity, take a look at some sentences and decide which phrase with get to use.
In the second task in the podcast, Rich and Jack gave you five sentences to transform (change). Your task is to replace the words in bold with between two and five words and include the word in brackets (). All of the sentences should include a phrase with get. This is great practice if you think you might need to do English exams in the future because this is a common task you find in lots of international exams. Here is an example:
- I couldn't paint the house on my own so I asked a friend for some assistance. (GOT)
- I couldn't pain the house on my own so I got a friend to help.
Here are the five sentences we would like you to change.
Sorry I’m late. I was delayed by traffic. (GOT)
We are very good friends. We have a friendly relationship. (GET)
He's sick but I'm sure he will recover in the near future. (SOON)
You can't always receive everything you desire. (WANT)
I'll send you a message when I arrive at my house. (HOME)
Write your answers in the comments section below.
What do you think?
In this week’s podcast, Jack and Rich spoke about phrases with get.
Is there a word in your language that has lots and lots of meanings?
Is it easier for you to use words such as arrive, become and understand than phrases with get? Why?
Look at the task above and write your answers. Can you write another sentence transformation for other listeners?
Remember to write your guess at this week's football phrase, too!