For anyone who speaks English as a second language, idioms can be very confusing and difficult to understand. This article will review some common expressions/idioms using the word “get” and offer some advice on how to improve your spoken English. Memorize these idioms, and soon you will “get the hang of” what Americans are really saying!
Don’t let not understanding every word someone says “get you down”. The main thing you want to do is “get the idea” of what they mean. That is not to say that you won’t “get stuck” on some words people say from time to time, but you can always “get out” a notebook and write down specific words to look up in a dictionary later. Also, try to “get up the courage” to ask people what they mean if you don’t understand.
You will encounter many different types of people in your life: some people talk so much, you won’t be able to “get a word in edgewise”, while other people are so quiet, they only say enough to “get by”. Try not to let people “get on your nerves” , but instead try to make each new experience a learning opportunity! This is the best way to “get ahead”! I know this might “take some getting used to”. Mastering any language is difficult, especially when it comes to idioms, but “getting there” is half the battle.
Remember, “when the going gets tough, the tough get going”. If you continue to practice your speaking skills, make learning new words a focus of communication, and ask questions when you don’t understand something, you will see a quick improvement in your English! What are you waiting for; get going!
Idioms and definitions The following is a list of idioms from the above story and their meanings. Memorize any that are new to you.
“get the hang of” means to understand
"get you down" means something that makes you sad or depressed
"get the idea" means understand a concept of something
"get stuck" means to have difficulty doing something
"get out" (something) means to take something out (of a container, folder, etc)
"get up the courage (to do something)" means to be brave enough to do something
"get a word in edgewise" refers to a person who speaks incessantly, so others do not have a chance to speak
"get on one's nerves" means to bother or annoy
"get ahead" means to advance in life"
"take some getting used to" means to be accustomed to something after a while
"getting there" refers to the process of starting a goal and achieving it
"when the going gets tough, the tough get going" refers to not giving up when something is difficult
"get going" refers to starting something right away