get off my bed vs. get out of my bed?

Discussion in 'English Only' started by goophy, Dec 20, 2011.

  1. goophy

    goophy Senior Member

    Taiwanese, Mandarin Chinese

    What is the difference of 'get off my bed' and 'get out of my bed'? Are they interchangeable? I was wondering if 'off' is particularly away from the surface of the bed while 'out of' is away from the space of the bed, like a baby's crib? Am I right?

    Thank you very much for your help!
  2. ribran

    ribran Senior Member

    Austin, Texas
    English - American
    Could you give us a specific example, please?
  3. Embonpoint Senior Member

    Specific examples are always helpful. In general, "out of bed" is the opposite of "in bed," which implies you are fully in it, likely under the covers. "Off the bed" is the opposite of "on the bed" which implies you are just on top, not under the covers.

    To add just a bit to that, the above is an oversimplification. To explain fully, the difference between "on" the bed and "in bed" is about more than just whether you are under covers or not. It's more about a sense of whether you were in the bed for a long time or just lying on it or sitting on it for a moment.

    I sat on my bed and tied my shoes.
    I sat in my bed and read for hours.

    I stretched out on my bed for a few moments to relax.
    I got in my bed and took a long nap.

    To someone sleeping in my bed, under the covers I would say, "Get out of my bed!"
    To someone who just got on it, not under the covers yet, I would say, "Get off my bed!"
    To someone taking a nap on top of the bed, I might say either, depending on my subjective impression.

    Does that make sense?
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2011
  4. goophy

    goophy Senior Member

    Taiwanese, Mandarin Chinese
    Thanks to Embonpoint, and ribran for your help.

    @ribran: I don't have any specific example. This morning when I woke up, that question just popped up. I was wondering at that moment, if these two sentences were interchangeable or not.

    @ Embonpoint: so I can use both to mean the same thing? Thank you, your explanations are very clear. I've got the point now.
  5. Andygc

    Andygc Senior Member

    British English
    No. You need to read Embonpoint's examples again. Get off the bed and get out of the bed are not identical in meaning. The only example I disagree with is
    To someone taking a nap on top of the bed, I might say either, depending on my subjective impression.
    For me, if they are on top of the bedclothes it would be "get off". It would only be "get out" if they were partially or wholly under the bed clothes.

    ( I think bed clothes BE = bed covers AE)
  6. Bevj

    Bevj Allegra Moderata

    Girona, Spain
    English (U.K.)
    I agree with Andygc.
    Get off the bed - you are sitting or lying on top of it.
    Get out of the bed - you are lying under the bed clothes.
  7. lancer99 Banned

    English - U.S.
    I'm with embonpoint -- for example, after a party that went on too long, when I was tired and desperately needed sleep, I'd probably say "get out of my bed" to someone who was sleeping on top of it. Probably from the sense of "get out" as in "go away," "get lost."
  8. Embonpoint Senior Member

    For me "in" or "on" the bed is a subjective determination based on how deeply a person is in it ie. how long he's been there or how comfortable he is. The main determinant, but not the only one, is whether the person is under the sheets, but other factors--particularly length of time spent there, also matter.

    To break it down as clearly as I can, here is a rule: If a person is under the sheets I would always say he is in bed. But the converse is not true. Someone not under the sheets can be either in bed or on the bed, depending on the circumstances. For example, in summer I might not cover myself with a sheet but If I'm sleeping there the night I am still in bed.

    Another example: if I break my leg and am confined to my bed for a week, I would say I spent a week in bed, not on a bed--even if I did not stay under the blankets most of that time! In that circumstance I might say, "I can't wait to get out of bed!" I would never say, "I can't wait to get off the bed."
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2011
  9. Andygc

    Andygc Senior Member

    British English
    Embonpoint, yes, I agree with you when you put it that way. I suppose the difference is that if you have been confined to bed or are sleeping on a hot summer's night you are in bed, not on the bed - you are not just lying on it, you are using it as a place of rest and sleep. On the other hand, if lancer99's party animal is just lying on top of my bed that doesn't, for me put him in the bed, even if he is sleeping.
  10. lancer99 Banned

    English - U.S.
    But under those circumstances, if you said "get off of my bed" the poor deluded sod might take that as an invitation to sleep in the corner of your bedroom, when all you want to do is get rid of him. "Get out of my bed" = "Go away" Probably just my own quirk :)
  11. Embonpoint Senior Member

    Yes, that's it!
  12. wilsyls

    wilsyls Member

    Chinese(but I'm a Taiwanese)
    I think the best way to distinguish in between is define "the function" of a bed.
    If you use a bed to sleep, rest or recuperate from an illness, the way it's intended to be used, then you get out of the bed.
    And, well, at least that's what I believe, you should not jump up and down on a bed as if it were a trampoline or sit on it eating as if it were a chair by a dining table, then you get off (of) the bed.
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2013

Share This Page