The question has already been asked but with a different context and therefore the answers do not answer my question.


"Open your eyes" - Title of one of Guano Apes' songs

"Open up your eyes" - From song "Politik" by ColdPlay

Is there any difference in meaning or is it just a matter of choice?

  • 3
    "Open your eyes" is more idiomatic and commonly used. The added emphasis or intensity of "Open up your eyes" would be reserved for situations that demand it. Commented Dec 16, 2016 at 16:42
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    As a stand-alone command, I would read open up your eyes to mean open your eyes wider —for example, if I am applying mascara to someone else I might say this to them. More often, though, the phrase is used idiomatically as a description, not a command, to mean make the eyes look bigger, as in curled eyelashes and mascara will really open up your eyes.
    – 1006a
    Commented Dec 16, 2016 at 20:26
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    Thank you for including the research you did to try to answer your question. Knowing that the other question wasn't helpful makes it easier for us to understand your question.
    – ColleenV
    Commented Dec 17, 2016 at 18:51

3 Answers 3


Up can be attached phrasally to quite a few verbs that aren't verbs of motion like walk, run, etc. Or you can consider it something like an adverb instead of a preposition.

The meaning is one of emphasis or "completely, totally" - e.g. open up X or open X up = open X all the way it can go.

I cut up all the paper.

I already washed up for dinner.

I finished up all the tasks.

I typed up a couple papers.


Style, mostly. Either one can refer to the physical act or a metaphorical one, though I think "open your eyes" is used more often than "open up" for metaphor:

Open your eyes! Obama is ordering people killed without conviction, trial, or even charges being laid.

  • Adding graphic flavoring is an improvement. Thanks!
    – MMacD
    Commented Dec 18, 2016 at 18:55

In those two examples, there is no difference. In fact, mostly they are the same.

"Open the box!" = "Open up the box!"


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