Learn English phrasal verbs | Get on

Do you get on with your family? How are you getting on at work? Find out the meanings to get on in this video lesson to help you understand English phrasal verbs...

Always be ready to listen out for examples of English phrasal verbs in conversations all around you...

If two people get on like a house on fire, it means that they become really good friends!

You could get on up with the Godfather of Soul by watching this movie about the life of James Brown...

So how do you remember English phrasal verbs? Tell us in the comments below...


In the UK, get on is a very common expression when you're talking about your relationship with other people. If you say you get on with someone it means you have a good relationship, you're very friendly with them. You can say 'I get on with my family', I have a good relationship with my family.

If you say 'I'm not getting on with my girlfriend' it means you're arguing, you don't have a good relationship at the moment, maybe you're not talking to each other, so 'we don't get on' or 'we're not getting on at the moment'.

If there's someone that you have never been friends with, you could say 'we've never got on'.

If you want to ask someone how they're doing in a certain situation, let's say your friend gets a new job, you could say 'How're you getting on?' 'How're you getting on in your new job?' This means 'Do you like the job? Is it going well? Is it hard? Is it difficult? Is it interesting?' 'How're you getting on?'

Also if you tell someone to 'get on with their work', you're telling them to do their work. Maybe that person is being lazy or taking a break, so you tell them to 'get on with their work', that means they need to do their work. We can use get on to talk about time as well.

We can say 'time is getting on', which means it's getting late and I need to leave.

Talking of time, you could also talk about a person who's getting old.

You could say 'he's getting on', meaning he's getting old.

Obviously the most common use of get on is for public transport. So you could say 'get on a bus', 'get on a train', 'get on a plane'.

But a common expression in the UK, if you want to tell someone to go away, you could tell them to 'get on their bike!' So if you tell someone to 'get on their bike' in the UK, it means you're telling that person to go away, to get lost!