7 Expressions with Get 23

These micro-dictation exercises contain 7 different expressions with Get.

‘Get’ is one of the most common verbs in the English language. As well as having several basic meanings (and being used in grammatical structures like the passive) it is also used in a lots and lots of idioms and fixed expressions.

Learning some of these idioms and expressions is a very good way of improving your understanding of everyday conversation, while also making your own English more varied and natural.

This exercise contains 7 micro-dictations, each one containing a different idiom or expression with Get.

See how much you can understand, try to guess the meaning of the expression, and then check the definition. Good luck!

#1 to get a shock

Accent: North America

I a when . He he's 10 .
I such a when I him. He as if he's 10 years.

to get a shock = to be surprised by something negative or unpleasant.

e.g. I got a shock when I saw the gas bill – it was 5 times what I had been expecting.

#2 to get the chance

Accent: England (London)

Naples .
visit Naples the – the pizza there .
Make you visit Naples you get the – the pizza we there was incredible.

…make sure...

The expression make sure you do something means be certain that you do something. e.g. Make sure you take an umbrella if you walk to work – it’s going to rain this afternoon.

The idiom to get the chance to do something is another way of saying to have the opportunity to do something.

e.g. I wanted to ask for his autograph but I didn’t get the chance.

e.g. Did you get the chance to ask your boss for next Thursday off?

#3 to get to know someone

Accent: England (RP)

I know unpleasant , but if know him you'll .
I know he seem unpleasant first, but if you to know him you'll like him.

…at first

We use the phrase at first to mean in the beginning or to begin with. e.g. At first I thought it would be possible to prepare for the exam by myself, but I soon realised that I needed a good teacher to help me.

We use the expression to get to know someone to describe the process of learning more about a person by spending time with them.

e.g. I got to know Paul while we were travelling up to Scotland..

#4 to get rid of something

Accent: Scotland

I flat, previous owners dog haven't to get smell.
I my new flat, the previous owners a dog and I haven't able to get of the smell.

The expression to get rid of something means to remove something or make it go away.

e.g. Please can we get rid of these curtains? I’ve never liked them.

e.g. He used to have a big tattoo on his neck; I wonder how he got rid of it?.

#5 to get hold of someone

Accent: Northern England

I've to of you , why haven't phone ?
I've trying to hold of you day, why haven't you your phone turned ?

The meaning of the expression to get hold of someone is to make contact and communicate with someone, usually on the phone.

e.g. I can’t get hold of John. Maybe he’s changed his number?.

#6 to get on someone's nerves

Accent: Ireland

. ASAP.
That dripping really nerves. We it ASAP.
That dripping tap really on my nerves. We to get it ASAP.

The idiom to get on someone’s nerves can be used as an alternative to the verb to annoy someone.

e.g. I don’t know why, but his voice really gets on my nerves..

#7 to get up to speed

Accent: Scotland

is going , it's a while to everything.
My job is going , but it's me a while get up to with everything.

When you get up to speed, you get all the latest information about something.

e.g. Before you start working with your new team, you’ll need to get up to speed with our new IT system.

Discussion questions

Write your answers to these questions in the comments section, and I’ll get back to you with some feedback:

  • When was the last time you got a shock?
  • Tell me about something that you would like to do one day, if you get the chance to do it?
  • Is there anything that you wanted to do, but didn’t get the chance to do?
  • Can you think of someone who you didn’t like at first, but who you became friends with after you got to know them?
  • Are you good at getting rid of things you don’t need, or do you find it hard to throw things away?
  • What’s the best way to get rid of a headache/cold/sore throat/hangover?
  • Can you remember a time when you’ve needed to get hold of someone but they didn’t answer their phone? What happened?
  • Are you a difficult or easy person to get hold of?
  • Tell me about something that you would like to do one day, if you get the chance to do it?
  • What are the top three things that get on your nerves?
  • Think about the last time you got a new job. How long did it take to get up to speed with everything?

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come naturally 2

This micro-listening exercise contains the expression to come naturally to someone. Have a go at the listening exercise, then learn about the meaning and usage of this expression.

Micro-listening

Accent: North America

Source: Hidden Brain, Creatures of Habit. This episode is all about developing positive habits and dealing with negative habits. In this section, the speaker is talking about her experience of getting into the habit of running every day.

, , .
I , I was a committed years, I 6 in the was very with me that didn't I really .
I started , I was a committed runner many years, I running at 6 in the and that was very to start off with for me that didn't naturally and I really dreaded .

…and that was very hard to start off with…

to start off with = in the beginning, to begin with. e.g. To start off with I didn’t get on with my new boss at all, but the more I got to know her the more I appreciated her management style.

…I really dreaded that…

to dread something = to be extremely frightened or worried about something. e.g. We’re moving house next month and I’m absolutely dreading it – I have a feeling it’s going to be a nightmare.

come naturally: meaning and explanation

If you find something easy and you can do it without much effort or concentration then you can say that it comes naturally to you.

For example, if you are a good writer and find it easy and enjoyable to do, then you can say that writing comes naturally to you.

This expression can be used to say that a new skill or ability was easy to learn, or that you became good at it quickly.

e.g. Sarah has only been playing tennis for a few months but she’s already better than most other players at the club. Tennis obviously comes naturally to her.

We often use this expression in the negative to say that something is not easy for us to do, that we have to make a lot of effort to do it, or that we had to work hard to be able to do it.

For example, some people find public speaking very stressful and challenging. They can do it, but it is a difficult experience which probably requires a lot of effort and preparation. For them, speaking in public doesn’t come naturally.

Other people seem completely relaxed and in their element when public speaking, and doing it is easy. Public speaking comes naturally to them.

Have a go at this dictation exercise to hear this expression being used in context – how much can you understand?

Discussion questions

Write your answers to these questions in the comments section, and I’ll get back to you with some feedback:

  • Is there anything that comes naturally to you?
  • What doesn’t come naturally to you?
  • Have you ever developed a new skill or learned something new very easily? What was it?

Photo by Filip Mroz on Unsplash

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above board 0

above board: meaning and explanation

If something is above board then it is honest, fair, and not attempting to hide anything or cheat anyone. e.g. Most banks operate above board, but it is still important to be careful when taking out a loan.

If you say that everything is above board then you are saying that everything is done in an honest, open way, and nothing is hidden.

Imagine you are checking whether a service, business or website is honest before making a large purchase – if you are satisfied, you could use this idiom. e.g. We’ve had a close look and as far as we can see everything seems to be above board.

A useful way to get a clearer understanding of idioms, and also to make it easier to memorise them, is to research their origins. These are often quite interesting and memorable, and can help to make the meaning of the idiom more concrete and logical. The origin of above board is poker and other card games. If you are playing above board, then you are holding your cards above the table – you are not hiding them under the table. This means that no one will suspect you of cheating or playing dishonestly.

Have a go at this dictation exercise to hear this expression being used in context – how much can you understand?

Dictation #1

Accent: England (RP)

If you at our you’ll is .
If you a look at our accounts you’ll see that is above .

…If you take a look at our accounts…

to take a look at something is an alternative (and slightly more informal) synonym for to look at something or to have a look at something. It is often used when inviting someone to look at or inspect something. e.g. Can you take a look at my phone and see if you can fix it?

Discussion questions

Write your answers to these questions in the comments section, and I’ll get back to you with some feedback:

  • In your country, is business generally done ‘above board’ or do people try to conceal things?
  • Can you remember a time when you thought everything seemed to be above board, and it turned out that you were wrong?

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singing your praises 10

singing your praises: meaning and explanation

If you sing someone’s praises, then you praise or compliment them very enthusiastically.

This phrase is often used to tell somebody that someone has been talking about them in a very positive way. e.g. Sarah was very touched that you offered to help her move house. She’s been singing your praises all week.

Have a go at this dictation exercise to hear this expression being used in context – how much can you understand?

Dictation #1

Accent: North America

.
You’ve good impression – she’s .
You’ve made a good impression the boss – she’s singing your .

…You’ve obviously made a good impression on the boss…

The phrase to make a good impression on someone = to cause someone to form a good opinion of you when they first meet you. e.g. If you dress like that then you aren’t going to make a very good impression at your interview. This has a similar meaning to the phrasal verb to come across well.

Discussion questions

Write your answers to these questions in the comments section, and I’ll get back to you with some feedback:

  • Have you been singing anyone’s praises recently?
  • Can you remember a time when someone was singing the praises of someone who didn’t deserve it?

Photo by Todd Trapani on Unsplash

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