Subscribe [iTunes] [AudioBoo] [RSS] Download Small Donate Button
to get behind with something = when you don’t do work fast enough and it piles up. It also applies to payments. E.g. “You’ve been getting behind with your rent again. If you don’t pay me, I’ll be forced to take legal action.”
to get behind someone = to support someone
“If you all get behind me, I might stand a chance of winning this competition!”

Hello there.

It’s Luke here from my apartment and you know what? Today I’m gonna teach you a phrasal verb. What a surprise!

…and today’s phrasal verb is TO GET BEHIND

TO GET BEHIND WITH something or TO GET BEHIND someone


TO GET BEHIND WITH something – this usually refers to work or perhaps payments.

For example, if you GET BEHIND WITH your rent that means that you haven’t been paying the rent at the right time, and now, the rent payments have built up and up and up. They’ve built up and you’ve got loads of rent to pay, and your landlord is really annoyed with you and he comes around to your house, and knocks on the door, and says to you:

– “Luke?”

(Now, obviously your name is not Luke. Who knows? It might be. Anyway, he says:)

– “Luke? I’m sorry, but you’ve been GETTING BEHIND WITH your rent payments and if you don’t pay me now, I’m gonna have to evict you from this apartment!”

and you say to him:

– “Please, don’t evict me. Please! Don’t! I’m sorry. I know I’ve been GETTING BEHIND WITH my rent payments, but it’s just because my clients haven’t been paying me, because they’ve been GETTING BEHIND WITH their payments to me and so, as a result I haven’t got any cash. So, please! Don’t evict me.”

and the landlord goes:

– “Okay then, fine! I understand. No problem. Just pay me whenever you want. In fact, you don’t have to pay me. You can just stay here for free. That’s fine, Luke, because you’re Luke from Luke’s English Podcast. So, you can just stay here. That’s fine.”

Okay? There you go. That’s just an example. Obviously landlords are never normally that nice. But that’s just an example.


You could also GET BEHIND WITH your work that means, for example, there’s too much work coming in and you can’t do the work fast enough and as a result you end up GETTING BEHIND WITH your work and your boss says to you:

– “Luke!? I’ve noticed that you’ve been GETTING BEHIND WITH your work recently. You seem struggling to keep up. Now, is this a problem?”

and you say:

– “No, it’s not a problem. It’s fine! Everything is fine. I’ve just been a bit…. um…. It’s just been a bit difficult recently, because well, I’ve…, um…, To be honest it’s a little bit difficult working with Jeff, because, well, he just can’t stop eating biscuits. He’s always distracting me. There are always crumbs everywhere. I can always hear the sound of the packet of biscuits, you know, crunching. It’s very distracting, and so, as a result I always fall behind with my work. You know? I don’t manage to write all the emails I need to. It’s Jeff’s fault!”

and your boss goes:

– “Okay. Well, I was gonna fire you, but I think, I’m gonna fire Jeff instead. Because eating biscuits in a distracting way is just not acceptable in this company.”

Okay, there you go.



You can also GET BEHIND someone and that means you support someone.


So, for example, I might say:

– “Please, do GET BEHIND ME and give me your support and vote for me in this MacMillan Dictionary Award competition thing which I keep going on about. But if I…. but if I’m to stand any chance of winning it, I’m gonna need everyone TO GET BEHIND me and give me their votes. So if you haven’t done it already, vote for me in the competition and share with your friends and ask your friends, family and their pets to vote for me, and that will be great. That’s the only way I’ll stand a chance of winning If you GET BEHIND ME on it. So, keep going on about it… but…”

There you go.

Alright. That’s the end of this.

I’ll speak to you again tomorrow and…

…and that’ll be good!

Right! Four minutes. This is the four minutes episode.

I’m gonna stop now. I’m gonna quit while I’m ahead.

So, goodbye! Speak to you tomorrow.