I have searched for the difference between the two idioms "move over" and "get out of the the way", and I found no results.

Are they interchangeable when we politely ask for some physical space?

  • 4
    They're interchangeable in the sense that you shouldn't use either when you want to politely ask for some personal space. If you want to roughly demand someone remove himself from the direct oath from you to your objective, you can also use either, but get out of the way is harsher. But neither is "nice".
    – Dan Bron
    Feb 22, 2017 at 12:54
  • 1
    You need to include more context in your question. How are you planning to use them in a sentence? Both idioms are quite rude. "Move over" usually refers to someone sitting or standing beside you, while "get out of the way" refers to someone blocking your forward path of movement. You would at least need to couch them in very polite language before either use was acceptable. The exception, of course, is if you are a police officer or other "first responder" using them as commands in an emergency situation. Feb 22, 2017 at 13:01
  • Yes, of course, i wouldnt use them solely but i would say"could you please move over"or "would you please get out of the way".My question here is"Are they interchangeable in the above mentioned contexts "?
    – israa wael
    Feb 22, 2017 at 17:08
  • 1
    In that regard, "move over" would be more polite. "Get out of the way" has an implied accusation — you are in the way. "Move over" is simply a request that they move.
    – Stephen R
    Feb 22, 2017 at 18:34
  • A more polite version is "scooch over." Feb 23, 2017 at 6:00

1 Answer 1


Much depends on context. "Get out of the way" includes information that "move over" lacks: WHY you want them to move. You might tell someone to move over so they can improve their view, or for some other reason. "Get out of the way" is more specific — you are in the way and I want you to move so you're no longer in the way.

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