"Wake up" or "Get up"

Often, we use the phrase “wake up” when we actually mean “get up“, and vice versa. Both are not interchangeable. It is incorrect to say: “I got up at 7:00 a.m. today” when you had actually just opened your eyes at that time! Both sentences below are correct but mean differently:

  1. Peter woke up in the middle of the night.
  2. Peter got up in the middle of the night.

Wake up” means opening your eyes after sleeping.

Get up” means repositioning your body from a lying down position to stand on the ground.

Sentence #1 actually makes more sense because Peter has to wake up first before getting up.


  1. When you fall, you have to get up and continue running.
  2. I’m too lazy to get up; they weather’s so cool and I could continue sleeping.
  3. They didn’t sleep well because their newborn baby woke up often at night.
  4. Wake up!! It’s already 9:00 a.m., and you’re late for work.

Some people use the phrase “get out”. Avoid using this phrase. “Get out” generally means leave (somewhere), escape or withdraw.


Posted on September 28, 2009, in Word Power and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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