What is a phrasal verb “Get away”?

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A phrasal verb, such as “get away”, contains two or more words, a verb along with other elements of language. While listening to a native English speaker, you will encounter one of these three Phrasal Verb linguistic structures (word orders):

     Verb + Adverb (eg break down)

     Verb + Preposition (eg see to)

     Verb + Adverb + Preposition (eg look down on)

The Adverbs related to these structures (syntaxes) are referred to as Adverbs of Manner. They are always placed after the Verb. 

A few common examples of the Adverb + Verb structure are speaking softly, did well, and get away (the subject of today’s lesson). 

What is an adverb?

How to correctly use adverbs in Phrasal Verbs and otherwise?

An Adverb describes a Verb.

Interestingly, Adverbs usually end with ly, but this is a soft rule and is OFTEN broken with phrases such as “Get away.” In this example, “away” is an adverb. For more on Prepositions, check out our previous lesson.

The adverb used in today’s lesson is an Adverb of Manner.  It’s important to remember that Adverbs in Phrasal Verbs, Adverbs of Manner, are ALWAYS placed after the Verb. Here are a few examples of Adverbs of Manner, “well,” “badly,” “hard,” “fast” and “away.” There are many more as well.

Correct use of the phrasal verb “Get away” in a full sentence

The phrasal verb “Get away ” means to take a break from your current circumstances or to leave something behind. For example, “I need to get away from the office for a while”.  By saying this, the speaker is telling the listener that she wants to take a break from working in the office.

Another example,” He’ll never get away with it.”  By saying this, the speaker is telling the listener that “he” will be punished for his crimes, or, he won’t receive a break from getting punished. 

What is meant by “Get away”

“Away” is an adverb. It means at a distance from. Interestingly, “get” is a verb that means to obtain.  And so, by definition, the phrase means to obtain a distance. However, if native speakers say this, they mean to go away/escape a situation or a time spent at a vacation spot.

Examples of the Phrasal Verb “Get away”

Isabella needed to get away from work for a few days. 

Every now and then, one must get away from this busy life.

Let’s practice 

Q1: Try and make your own sentence.

Q2: If you could get away from work/school for a few days where would you go? Why? 

Q3: Why is it important to get away every now and then? 

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