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Is using get up in this expression correct?

  • I am sorry I woke you up.
  • I am sorry I got you up.

I use get up for wake up all the time, but in this expression it sounds a bit odd.

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And let's not forget knock up! Earlier question –  Andrew Lazarus Jan 29 '13 at 16:44
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3 Answers

Both are correct in individual contexts, but get up is not the same as wake up.

Wake up means just that: to wake from sleep; get up means to get out of bed. It's possible to wake someone up without getting them up. They could just lie awake in bed.

However, "I'm sorry I got you up," while meaning "I'm sorry I forced you out of bed," could imply that the late riser was woken up as well.

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You wake up when you regain consciousness after being asleep. You get up when you leave your bed.

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I think to wake somebody up is simply saying "to intentionally or not disturb somebody sleeping by making some noise, turning on the light in the room, etc.", so somebody gets awake mentally.

By contrast, if you get somebody up, it sounds like you actually make somebody go out of bed physically, like when your mother pushes you to hurry up for school in the morning.

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You can also get someone up if you phone them when they are asleep, but then you both woke them (with the ringing phone) and got them up (to answer it). –  Jonathan Aug 20 '13 at 12:26
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