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Feb 25, 2018

A Phrasal Verb a Day #46 - to get off

Notes & Transcript

There are lots of meanings! Check the transcript below for the details.

Hello everyone, this is Luke here and today’s phrasal verb is ‘to get off’, okay, ‘get off’. Now, this one has loads and loads of different meanings. In fact I’ve got 14 different meanings here plus some other phrases that use this expression so, let’s go through them nice and quick and just keep this brief and useful, alright? So, first of all it could mean ‘to have some holiday’, ‘to get some time off’ so, ‘get time off’, ‘get a week off’, ‘get a day off’ for example. So, it would be like, for example:

– Can I get next week off?

you know, you might ask your boss.

– Can I get next week off?


– Do you mind if I get next Monday off?

for example, alright? ‘To get some time off’.

Another one would be ‘to leave the place where you work at the end of the day’:

– At what time do you get off?

okay? ‘What time do you get off?’ meaning ‘what time do you leave work?’.

– What time do you get off work on Fridays?
– I tend to get off about 5.

for example, okay?

Another one would be ‘to send something’. For example ‘send it in the post’. It’s like:

– Any chance you could get that check off to me in the post soon? (you know)
– Oh, yes. Sorry about that. I haven’t sent it. I’ll get it off to you tomorrow.

‘to get something off’ meaning ‘to send it’, alright.

Fourth one would be ‘to avoid being punished severely for doing something’. So, it means ‘you don’t get punished’ or ‘you get punished only a little bit’, okay? So, for example:

– He was charged with manslaughter but he got off.

Okay? Meaning ‘he wasn’t punished’. Similar ‘to get away with it’, okay? But this is when… Often when you’ve been charged or someone’s been charged for a crime but then the punishment isn’t given, alright? So, or at least if the punishment is very small then you would say ‘with’:

– He got off with a fine.

– I can’t believe he’s just got off with a fine

meaning that all he got was… all he had to do was to pay some money, a little bit of money.

– He got off with a fine.

Another one is ‘to help someone get off’, you know? ‘to help someone to avoid being punished’. So, ‘to get someone off’. For example his lawyer might say:

– You know, don’t worry we’ve got a good case. We’ll get him off.

meaning ‘We’ll help him to avoid the punishment’, okay? She got off.

– She got him off. The lawyer just managed to get him off with a suspended sentence.


Another one would be ‘to borrow something or to take something’ and that’s ‘to get something off someone’, okay? ‘To get something off someone’ like:

– She got that old bike off her brother

meaning ‘her brother gave it to her’. ‘To get something off someone’:

– I got this jacket off my dad

meaning ‘It used to be my dad’s and he gave it to me’

right? It was a hand-me-down.

Number 7 is usually an imperative and it’s just simply:

– Get off! Oh, get off! You’re on my back! Get off me!

alright? You know, ‘to tell someone to stop touching something or to leave someone’:

– Get off!

It doesn’t mean ‘someone is actually on you’. It could just mean ‘someone’s touching you’:

– Get off!

like someone’s touching your arm or something:

– Get off, will you?

You also use it to tell someone to get off other things like:

– Get off the grass!

for example.

– Get off the sofa!

That kind of thing.

Another imperative would be ‘to get somebody off something’, right? And it’s just pretty much the same as what we’ve just had but it would be asking someone to get someone off something. This is getting confusing, isn’t it? Anyway, for example:

– Get your dog off me!

Right? I’d like:

– Don’t worry. He’s very friendly. He won’t bite.
– Yeah, thanks for saying that but could you get him off me? Get him off me!


– Get your feet off the table!

For example, okay?

Another one would be ‘to help someone go to sleep’ especially when they find it difficult, okay? ‘To get somebody off to sleep’, okay?

– Sometimes I find it difficult to get asleep and so, I might just have a bite to eat that just help me to get off.

Okay? ‘To get off to sleep’ meaning ‘to fall asleep’.

‘To help someone get ready to leave a place’, you know, ‘to get someone off’:

– I try to get the kids off in the morning by 8 o’clock.


‘To stop talking about something because you’ve become interested in talking about something else’, ‘to get off something’, for example ‘to get off the subject’:

– I was talking about phrasal verbs then I ended up talking about zombies. Sorry, I kind of got off the subject there, didn’t I?

Okay, ‘to get off the subject’, ‘to digress’ for example.

Number 12 to… Now, there’s a sexual thing here, a bit of sexual stuff. ‘To get off’ can mean ‘to have an orgasm or have a very sexual experience’, ‘to get off’, okay? She’s not… let’s see, I can’t think of a very good example of that, you know.

– Well, you know, you just do what you’ve got to do, whatever you want, whatever you’re gonna do it helps you get off, you know? You can do whatever you like.

It’s not a very good example but anyway ‘to get off’. Alright.

There’s also expression ‘to get off on something’ and that means ’something helps you to have a good time or helps you to have a good time sexually’ okay?

– You know, I really, you know…

Think of a good example, you know:

– He gets off on pornography

for example, alright?

And another one is obviously just ‘to leave a bus, leave a plane, leave a train’, ‘to get off the bus’, ‘to get off the train’ for example. Everyone knows that one. ‘To get on the bus’, to get off the bus’.

There’re some phrases as well. We’re nearly finished. This is the longest one I’ve ever done I think. ‘To get off my back’ means ‘to tell someone to stop annoying or criticising you.

– You’re always getting at me. Just get off my back, will you?


Another one would be ‘to get off on the wrong foot’ and that means to kind of immediately establish a bad relationship with someone, you know, when you first meet them, if you have a little argument with someone soon as you meet them and that means that the relationship starts in a bad way, you know, like you might go back to someone and say:

– Look, I’m really sorry about the argument we had and I really don’t want to get off on the wrong foot with you so, I’d like just apologise.

for example, okay?

Another one would be ‘to tell someone where to get off’, you know, like:

– I told them where to get off.

That means ‘I told them to piss off’, okay? ‘To tell someone where to get off’ means ‘to tell someone to just get lost’ or to be…, you know, ‘to rudely tell someone to go away’, alright?

You can also say ‘to tell someone where to go’:

– I told them where to go.

meaning ‘I told them to piss off’, you know:

– I told them where to get off.

Alright, that was a long one. Loads of different expressions there. English is… I can’t even speak it, that’s how complicated and confusing it is. It’s complicated and confusing. It’s like complefusing or confusicated. That’s it for this one. I’ll speak to you again tomorrow. Bye for now!