Difference between “wake” and “awake”

awake / asleep

Awake and asleep are adjectives. Use them with the verb to be:

  • He’s awake. = He isn’t sleeping.
  • He’s asleep. = He is sleeping.

It’s common to use the expressions stay awake (to continue awake) and fall asleep (to begin sleeping):

  • On New Year’s Eve, my children stay awake until midnight.
  • I always fall asleep in history class – it’s so boring!

wake up

Wake up is a verb that means to go from asleep –> awake.

  • I wake up at 6:00 AM every day.
  • My brother usually wakes up at 10:00 AM on weekends.
  • Yesterday, I woke up late because my alarm didn’t go off.

Wake up can be used for yourself, or for another person:

  • Don’t talk so loudly! You’ll wake up the baby!
  • Your sister is taking a short nap. Can you wake her up in about 20 minutes?

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