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1. To make someone feel sad or depressed
“don’t let it get you down – try to look on the bright side”
2. To write something quickly
“Have you got a pen – I just want to get that down”
3. To swallow food or drink, especially when it’s difficult
“I know you feel ill but you should try to get something down”
4. To lower your body, especially your head, in order to avoid something dangerous
“get down! He’ll see you!”
5. To dance and ‘get funky’
“if you want to have a good time you’ve got to get down on the dance floor”
“it was a great party. Everyone was getting down all night long ”

Hello everybody, today’s phrasal verb is TO GET DOWN.
And it’s got a number of meanings:

The first one is to make someone feel sad or depressed, okay, like:
-Don’t let it GET you DOWN! I know you failed the exam, but don’t let it GET you DOWN!

For example, you could say:
-Doing the same thing every day can GET you DOWN. But just look on the bright side! Don’t let it GET you DOWN!

TO GET DOWN = to feel sad or to lose hope.

Another meaning would be to write something quickly. To quickly write something down.
For example:
– Have you got a pen? I just need to GET that DOWN quickly.
– Could you just repeat that? So I can just GET it DOWN.
So, meaning to write something down.

And… let’s see…

Third meaning would be to swallow some food or drink, especially if it’s difficult.
So, for example, if you have sore throat or throat infection, like tonsillitis it can be hard to, kind of, TO GET your food DOWN, or TO GET some drink DOWN.
Like even if you’re feeling sick, you should try and GET something DOWN, meaning = to swallow something, to eat something, okay.

– I tried to swallow the tablet, but it just got stuck in my throat. Sometimes I find it really hard TO GET those pills DOWN.
To swallow something.

Another one would be to, kind of, to lower your head, you know. If there’s something coming overhead and you need to lower yourself, because you need to be safe. So like:
– GET DOWN!!! – for example.
– DUCK!!!
That kind of thing.

And finally, the other meaning of the expression TO GET DOWN would be to dance.
TO GET DOWN – like that song “Jungle Boogie”. You know the one I mean:
– GET DOWN, GET DOWN, jungleboogie… You know the one? I’m sure you do. It’s in the “Pulp fiction” soundtrack.
And, let’s see… I might even be out to play it to you… here… No, I can’t. You just gonna have to imagine it in your own head.
Imagine an amazing song with brilliant lyrics that goes: “GET DOWN, GET DOWN…” And when you hear it, you just want TO GET DOWN.

Actually, we do say get up, as well, meaning – dance. And there’s a James Brown record in which he implores you to get up and GET DOWN, like a sex machine. Which is, you know, always a good thing if you’re looking to have a good time.
Anyway, “Jungleboogie”, you know what it sounds like. It sounds like this:

There you go, that’s the end of this one. Speak to you again tomorrow! But for now, goodbye-bye-bye…

  • Denis Paraschuk

    I fell my driving test through in the first time. But I didn’t get myself down, bounced back quickly and passed it from the second time.

    I tried to write down what this fellow are talking about.
    So, I asked his speak a liitle bit slowly because I didn’t get it down – he was speaking very fast.

    My friend felt bad himself yesterday, even he coughed up some phlegm. The doctor prescribed him medications. It’s to hard, but he has to get these ones down.

    We were noticed by enemies. So I said: “Guys! Get down! Get down!”. After that we decided to get back.

    This working week was very hard. So, I’m gonna get down in the night club today.

  • Sham

    Is it alright to say ‘get up or on the stairs ‘ and ‘get down the stairs’ instead of climb the stairs and climb down the stairs?

    • I’d say “go up the stairs” or “go down the stairs”. But saying “get up the stairs” or “down the stairs” is sometimes used in a negative form, especially when talking about finding it difficult to go up or down the stairs. E.g. “I found it really difficult to get down the stairs with my broken leg” or “She can’t get up the stairs on her own, she needs help.”

  • Kamil

    I have a question: Why HAVE you stopped doing these phrasal verbs ? It really gets me down. I’m imploring you to pick it up again. Your work has a huge impact on my English. I feel like I am in England talking to Brits. Thank you for the great work you do. By the way, I am a good dancer so I love to get down and have a blast on the floor. The other day, my mom had tonsillits so it was a nightmare for her to get down any food. When I was fighting in World War II on the front line I had to get down all the time in order to survive the attacks of the enemy. Attending lectures can be really exhausting. Some profs order me to get down things very quickly and I don’t feel like doing it.

  • María José

    If you do that you are gonna let him down, is that what you want?
    yes I got it down, I´ll pass you my notes later.
    Please, I know its painful but you have to try to get your food down.
    The ceiling is not too tall, you better get down!
    What a nice song, let´s get down!

    P.S: such a good song!

  • Pingback: 175. The Phrasal Verb Chronicles #1 | Luke's ENGLISH Podcast()

  • Andrzej

    OK, Luke. Few months ago I had this amazing opportunity to be at a concert called The Wall by Roger Waters and at the beginning Roger struggled to say few words in Polish as a way of introduction reading them from some kind of board standing in front of him. He finished his talk with English sentence: “How, the hell, can you speak this language every day?!”. So, I am asking now: How, the hell, can you Brits, survive with this ambiguous phrasal verbs every day?! Maybe with the help of different facial expressions, for example, one eye blink stands for the first meaning, two for the second and so on. Mind-blowing. Have a good day to everybody and no ambiguity!