Podcast: You will never get away with it

By Ana | Podcast Inglês Online

May 05
Inglês - Podcast You will never get away with it

Hey, everybody. How’s it going?

Nesse episódio do podcast Inglês Online falamos sobre get away with, uma expressão super comum no inglês.


Hello, all. What’s up? Today we have a new episode of the inglesonline podcast. To download or just listen to other episodes and download transcripts, go to inglesonline.com.br and click Podcast Inglesonline.

Let’s begin with a pretty interesting phrase: get away with something. Let me give you a very simple example: imagine you work in an office with your boss and two other people. So there’s three of you reporting to the same person, the boss: you, and your coworkers Monica and Jacob. Now, your boss doesn’t like it when you or Jacob are late. Yesterday, Jacob arrived ten minutes after eight and the boss reminded him that work starts at eight. Last week you were only five minutes late, and the boss told you he expected you to be on time every day. However… when Monica is late that’s a different story.

Monica arrived fifteen minutes past eight last week, and the boss didn’t say anything! Yesterday she had a long lunch and got back to work at two thirty and, again, the boss didn’t say a peep. Monica is obviously your boss’ favorite, and she can get away with almost anything. Again: Monica can get away with almost anything. What does that mean? To get away with something is to escape the consequences of something you did. Not just any consequences, though: unpleasant consequences. When someone gets away with something, that means this person isn’t facing potentially unpleasant consequences that other people might face if they did the same thing.

For example, if you’re late to work every day, there are probably going to be some unpleasant consequences, like… your boss is going to give you a warning. If the dress code at work is business formal and you wear jeans, there may be consequences. If you’re young and live with your parents, and they give you a curfew – in other words, you have to be home by 9 PM every night, and then one night you arrive at midnight, there are probably going to be consequences, right?

So when someone gets away with something, that means they do that thing that, in theory, no one can do, but nothing happens to them. Somehow, they don’t suffer the unpleasant consequences. Like Monica, at your office. She gets in late, and nothing happens. She forgets to turn in her weekly expense report on time, and the boss doesn’t say a word. So Monica can get away with being late… and she also gets away with not being on time with her report. She can get away with mostly anything… she’s the boss’ favorite.

Do you have any examples of your own? For example, when were you able to get away with something and you were actually surprised you got away with it? Maybe you didn’t follow some rule somewhere, and you thought you wouldn’t be allowed to participate in something, but you got away with it somehow… Maybe when you were underage you wanted to go to a party where only people who were over eighteen were allowed in, and you managed to get in. How did you get away with it? Did you present a fake ID at the door?

Here’s a very common phrase that you’ll hear a lot in movies and sitcoms:  You’ll never get away with it. That’s what your friend will say if you tell him or her that you are going to sweet-talk your teacher into raising your grades. You’re going to tell your teacher a very sad story about how you didn’t have enough time to prepare for the exams because you were caring for a sick relative. Your friend hears that and says “You’ll never get away with it! Forget it.” You think you’ll get away with it. You have rehearsed your story and you think it’s pretty convincing. You’re pretty sure you’ll get away with it. Your friend thinks it’s a waste of time. He says “You’ll never get away with it”.

One more example: your local movie theater has a promotion for this weekend where kids younger than 12 years old get in for free. Your niece, who is 14, says she’ll try to pass for a twelve-year-old in order to see a movie for free. You look at her and say “You’ll never get away with it! You’re tall and you don’t look like a kid anymore”. You think she’ll never get away with it. She’ won’t be able to pass for a 12-year-old.

So I’m waiting for your example in the comments… When was the last time you were able to get away with something that even you didn’t expect to get away with? Talk to you next time.


Key expressions

  • get away with
  • You’ll never get away with it



a curfew = hora-limite para uma criança ou adolescente estar em casa, por exemplo

sweet-talk (someone) into (doing something) = convencer alguém a fazer algo por você (que normalmente a pessoa não faria) só no papo

Luan 16/06/2012

Excelente seu trabalho!!
Parabéns de verdade!!!
Precisamos de mais pessoas como você nesse mundo!
Forte abraço,

Eric Sola 07/05/2012

Thank you Ana, I love your podcasts! You are wonderful!

Antonio 06/05/2012

When a politic says that he didn’t know anything about corruption in his office, we could say: You”ll never get away with it. You are lying. However, in Brazil we know that he will.

Congratulations for your great job in this website!!

    Ana 06/05/2012

    Excellent example, Antonio. In Brazil politicians get away with a lot. If they were in some other countries they wouldn’t be able to get away with the things they do here.

XAVIER 06/05/2012

I always gettin later at school
i gotta change ’cause i can’t get away with it

    Ana 06/05/2012

    Yep.. students usually can’t get away with being late every day ;)

Oto 06/05/2012

A few days ago I tried to sweet-talk my girl into not going to her friend’s birthday party. I told her I had this last-minute work to do, but she didn’t buy it. She said, “Come on, I know you don’t usually work on Saturday evenings!” So, I couldn’t get away of going with her to this boring birthday party.

    Ana 06/05/2012

    Great example, Oto!!

    I’m with your girlfriend… last minute work thing on Saturday night?? hahahaha…

    You can say “I tried to pretend I had work to do but didn’t get away with it. She saw right through me (= ela viu na hora q não era verdade)”

Rodrigo 05/05/2012

On movies, when the prisoner try to escape, the cop look at he and says: You’ll never get away with it!!!

    Ana 05/05/2012

    Nice one, Rodrigo! (…the cop looks at him and says)

Álvaro Yujin 05/05/2012

Paulo : – I don’t want to go to work today, I will tell to the boss that I’m sick.
Me: – Man…You’ll never get away with it. Forget it!

Rigth? xD

    Ana 05/05/2012

    Yep, right! ;)

    (by the way – We say “Paulo wants to ‘call in sick'”)

      Álvaro Yujin 06/05/2012

      Thank you!

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