get away with: meaning and explanation

to get away with something = to do something bad or wrong, but avoid punishment.

You might do something bad and get away with it because you didn’t get caught. e.g. Apparently he has been stealing from his boss for years and has somehow got away with it.

It could also be that you get away with it because someone decided not to punish you (e.g. because they forgive you or because they don’t care). e.g. He got away with breaking his sister’s toy because his mum was too tired to punish him.

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

Listening exercises

Dictation #1

Accent: Scotland

, .
hour late , but I it boss .

About the sentence

…my boss hadn’t noticed…

The past perfect (my boss hadn’t noticed) is used here because the action (not noticing) happens before the main action in the sentence (getting away with it). We need the past perfect to show that this action happens in the earlier past.

Dictation #2

Accent: Northern England

Available soon

Dictation #3

Accent: North America

Available soon

Photo by Andy Beales on Unsplash

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