Take the 2-minute tour ×
English Language & Usage Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Are these two verbs the same? According to Longman, they are the same.

Here are some made up sentences:

I rolled this (up) into a ball.
Let's roll (up) our sleeves.

(I made up these sentences just to ask if they could mean the same.)

share|improve this question

closed as general reference by Kris, MετάEd, cornbread ninja 麵包忍者, tchrist, Kristina Lopez Feb 14 '13 at 19:33

This question is too basic; it can be definitively and permanently answered by a single link to a standard internet reference source designed specifically to find that type of information.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

    
"Are they the same?" and "Could they mean the same?" are two different questions. Most often (like in this case), the answer to the first question is, "No, not always – only in certain contexts," and the answer to the second question is, "Yes, in certain contexts." By the way, I think it's worth pointing out that this question probably would have been a better fit at the English Language Learners Stack Exchange; you may want to check it out. –  J.R. Feb 14 '13 at 10:34
    
"Let's roll up our sleeves." is correct. Without 'up', it sounds wrong, don't use it. –  Mitch Feb 14 '13 at 15:17
add comment

2 Answers 2

In the examples you gave, both "roll" and "roll up" mean the same thing. However, there is a difference between the two verbs. To "roll" can mean many things but the only senses that are synonyms with "roll up" are "to form into a mass by turning over and over" and "to wrap round on itself or shape into a ball or roll". To "roll up" can also mean "to become larger by successive accumulations", among other things that "roll" alone doesn't mean.

share|improve this answer
1  
"Roll up! Roll up! See the amazing strength of The Amazing Strongo! All the fun of the fair!" –  Andrew Leach Feb 14 '13 at 7:32
    
Furthermore you can roll down your window (or your sleeves). –  MετάEd Feb 14 '13 at 15:32
    
Stop, drop, and roll! –  J.R. Feb 15 '13 at 11:18
add comment

They mean the same in that things are being rolled up, but in different ways. Rolling up sleeves means to uncover more skin, and to roll something up into a ball means to do something like crumpling a piece of paper up before throwing it out.

share|improve this answer
add comment

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.