Get up and set down to work!

If you are familiar only with the verb get up in this phrase, then our article is definitely for you! Anyone who has ever studied English knows that the list of phrasal verbs with get goes to infinity, but the phrasal verb set is no less popular and used in modern speech. So that the study of these verbs does not seem as unattainable as the beginning of summer vacation, we will consider the top get / set phrasal verbs, adding the same particles to each verb:


The news of my promotion got about last week, but I still do not have an idea how to set about this new position at work!

Phrasal verb get, as well as phrasal verb set have completely different meanings:

  • Get about something – spread (some news, gossip, disease);
  • Set about something – start (in this case - start working on a new position);

2. BACK 

Do you remember that heavy rain that set the football match back? – Of course! You get back to that moment every time we meet.

  • Get back to something – return to something (e.g. to the same topic, situation, request);
  • Set something back – keep from happening;


I think you should get down to business immediately, our boss is coming. I’ve been trying to set down to work for 3 hours, but I still didn’t manage to.

In this case, both phrasal verbs have approximately the same meaning.:

  • Get down to – start doing something with serious intentions;
  • Set down to – start doing something vigorously;

Besides, phrasal verb set + down has another meaning:

If Doctor Collins calls, set down his email address, please.

  • Set something down – record something;

4. UP

Your brother really got up to last night! He broke your father’s car by throwing a garbage bin into it. – I know, but as for me, he drank too many energetic drinks, they must have set him up. That’s why he doesn’t get up today. 

Phrasal verb get up can be called one of the most common, since it usually occurs already in the first lessons, but are you familiar with its other meaning?:

  • Get up to – commit some strange, shameful act;
  • Set somebody up – cheer someone up, give energy; 

5. ON

The management of the company is trying to set his workers against Sam. – I am not interested in conflicts, so let’s change the subject.  How are you getting on with renovating your new house?

  • Get on (with) – have progress (about some business or process);
  • Set somebody on somebody – turn somebody against somebody;

Learning phrasal verbs is a very important part of language mastering - now your list of phrasal verbs has become even bigger, and your speech is a lot more interesting!

Author: Yana Kozyr

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