Phrase 'Get back to work'


I have got a silly question to ask. I have this sentence as below:

Rick went away and got back to work.

Normally, I think I can look on the word ‘work’ as a noun following the phrase ‘got back to’. However, can I think it another way as to see it as a verb so that ‘got back’ (in order) ‘to work’? Which one is more natural or more English? Just out of curiosity.


P.S. I think If the sentence goes like: Rick went into his office and got back to work, then doubtlessly it would be a noun.


I think the interpretation of ‘get back’ hinges on the sense and meaning of ‘get’. Get back as a phrasal verb in your sentence suggests the idea of ‘resume’ or ‘start again’ and it follows therefore that ‘get back to work’ indicates principally that someone is starting wok again. In the sentence:

my understanding would be that he started work again. To indicate that his ‘getting back’ was for the purpose of working, you would have to use possibly a different verb and strengthen the idea of purpose as in:

He went away and then returned intentionally to work two hours more.


Thank you very much, Sir, for your explanation. I think I have surely obtained the ‘language sense’ with the sentence from you, which was what I badly needed.