getaway and get a way - the difference

by Craig Shrives
The Quick Answer
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)
Interactive Exercise
Here are three randomly selected questions from a larger exercise, which can be edited, printed to create an exercise worksheet, or sent via email to friends or students.

See Also

adverse or averse? affect or effect? appraise or apprise? avenge or revenge? bare or bear? complement or compliment? dependant or dependent? discreet or discrete? disinterested or uninterested? e.g. or i.e.? envy or jealousy? imply or infer? its or it's? material or materiel? poisonous or venomous? practice or practise? principal or principle? tenant or tenet? who's or whose? What are adjectives? What are interjections? What are nouns? What are verbs? List of easily confused words