getaway and get a way - the difference

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Getaway means:
(1) a location for respite (2) an escape

Get away means:
(1) to escape (2) Unbelievable!
Writers occasionally confuse getaway and get away.


The noun getaway has two meanings:

A location visited to escape daily routine.

  • Alison is going to a little getaway in the hills for a week.
  • This is my little getaway.  I come here every Friday night.
An escape.

  • The robbers made their getaway in a silver Mondeo.
  • Fingers, you can be the getaway driver.
  • (Getaway is an adjective in this example. Like most nouns, getaway can be used as an adjective too.)

Get Away

Get away has two meanings:

(As a verb) To escape or to keep away.

  • Tonight, the prisoners will attempt to get away.
  • (get away = to escape)
  • Get away from my apples, you pesky kids.
  • (get away = keep away)
(As an interjection) Never or unbelievable.

  • Is that true? Get away.
  • (Get away = never or unbelievable)
  • Get away, a 12-pound bass? Are you sure it was Lee who caught it?
  • (Get away = never or unbelievable)
Select the correct version:



The word away is a preposition. To get away is a prepositional verb.

Verbs comprising more than one word (e.g., to get away, to look after, to put off) are known as phrasal verbs. These are usually used in informal circumstances, such as speaking or writing notes or emails. The single-word versions (usually deriving from Latin) are sometimes more appropriate in formal writing.

  • We will get together at 6.
  • We will congregate at 1800 hrs.
  • (to congregate: Latinate version of to get together)

  • We've put the meeting off until Tue.
  • The meeting is postponed until Tuesday.
  • (to postpone: Latinate version of to put off)

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