The Phrasal Verb “GET OFF”

“Decoding ‘Get Off’: The Multifaceted Phrasal Verb”


Hello, friends! Welcome to another edition of “English Makes No Sense.” I’m your host, SL Rockfish and today, we’re jumping into another phrasal verb adventure. Our spotlight is on the phrasal verb “get off.” Hold on tight, because it has a multitude of meanings, and we’re here to decode them all!

Segment 1: Leaving a Place

One of the most straightforward meanings of “get off” is when it refers to leaving a place, such as a vehicle or a location.

Example Sentence: “I need to get off the bus at the next stop.”

Or at a talent show someone might say, “Hey, get off the stage!” Well, that would be rude, but it happens. Can you make a sentence with “get off” that refers to a vehicle or a location? You can? Excellent. Write it down, practice it. We are about to learn some more meanings. Are you ready?

Segment 2: Disembarking

When you’re on a train, plane, or any form of transportation, “get off” means to disembark or exit.

Example Sentence: “We can’t leave until all passengers have gotten off the plane.”

“Get off “is easier to say than “disembark”. You can get off a plane, that always takes a long time! You can get off a train or more likely a subway, but you rarely get off a car. Why? Because you get out of the car, not get off. Unless of course you are standing on the hood or the rooftop of a car. I hope you don’t do that. It sounds dangerous!

Segment 3: Avoiding Something

Our next meaning of “get off” can mean avoiding or escaping a situation, often by making an excuse.

Example Sentence: “He tried to get off doing his chores by pretending to be sick.”
“ Bill tried to get off work by pretending to be sick!

Have you ever tried to get off work? Or have you tried to get off the phone, especially with a tele-marketer? That can be tough!

Segment 4: Releasing or Giving Up

Another meaning is when you “get off” something, like a vehicle or a horse. It implies releasing or giving up control.

Example Sentence: “The rider had to get off the horse when it became agitated.”
Don’t own a horse, no worries. When you are finished riding a bicycle or a motorcycle you get off it. Bikes and motorcycles are a lot like horses, you straddle them all! You get on, and then you get off, when you are done riding them!

Segment 5: Reducing

The next use of get off is a tricky one.

Sometimes, “get off” is used to describe reducing or lowering something.

Example Sentence: “To lose weight, you should get off sugary snacks.”
“ Bill needs to get off the booze, his doctor told him he should.”

Segment 6: Energetic Start

You would think five uses would be enough, but no no my friends. There are more meanings of this fun phrasal verbs When someone “gets off” to a particular start, it means they start something energetically or successfully.

Example Sentence: “She got off to a great start in her new job, impressing everyone.” Or, “Our trip got off to a terrible start when our flight was delayed.” I hate when that happens! When one’s flight gets off to a late start, it can really screw up your trip!”
Segment 7: To Find the Nerve

Get off can also be used for when one finds the nerve to do something. Say for example, someone cuts you off in traffic. You may shout, “Hey where do you get off?”

Segment 8: Exiting a Route or Path

Our second to last meaning of this phrasal verb is, “Get off” can also be about leaving a route or path, like getting off the main road onto a smaller one.

Example Sentence: “Let’s get off the highway and take the scenic route.”
Segment 9: To get high on a drug or find pleasure in

Our final meaning of get off means to get high on a drug or to experience a lot of pleasure

This one is a tricky one as well. Let me try and make some examples: Bill gets off on the misery of others! Not nice Bill, we should not find pleasure from others’ pain. Or how about this for getting high on drugs? “The patients sometimes get off on a lot of painkillers, you should be careful.” Don’t get off on your medication, that can lead to all sorts of trouble! Get off has soo many uses. Nine meanings and uses for this two word phrasal verb. Amazing! I better get off this topic before I lose your attention!


And there you have it, my friends, the many meanings of “get off.” Nine in total. From leaving places to avoiding tasks and starting with energy, this phrasal verb can add to your conversational skills and your understanding of English.

Why does English have so many uses for this little phrasal verb? I don’t know! But now you know how to use it. Remember, the context is your compass when deciphering its meaning. Or in simpler terms, the context is your guide.

Keep listening, keep learning, and keep speaking English! Thanks for joining us on “English Makes No Sense.” Until next time, remember to do something fun, do something amazing or you know, do nothing at all! But, whatever you do, have a great day! Peace friends.