I just wanted to make sure if the usage of "show up" here is correct.

How are you going to show up to your friend like this?

I know you use this when you arrive somewhere or visit something (school, work, etc.) but I was wondering if I could use it with people as well like in the example. Basically I want to say "How are you going to appear in front of your mum like this?"

I don't know if you got my point but I hope you did and I am going to be thankful if someone helps me. Thanks!

  • No, it is not used like that. Show up at a place. Not to someone. It's just not the right verb. How are you going to show yourself to your mum like that?
    – Lambie
    Feb 17, 2018 at 22:54
  • Show up is an expression meaning to arrive unexpectedly - or without notice or invitation. Feb 18, 2018 at 0:27
  • @RonaldSole it also has various other idiomatic meanings, To outperform or outclass someone; to make someone look unskilled or inadequate by comparison with one's effort or talent, or To reveal someone's or something's true nature, character, or properties.
    – Andrew
    Feb 18, 2018 at 1:14
  • @Andrew Touché I should have thought of that! Feb 18, 2018 at 1:21

3 Answers 3


No its not correct, your mum example was correct. "How are you going to show up in front of your friends like this?"


Show up is not used correctly in this case. This expression is used when you go somewhere unexpectedly, you are meeting someone, or you are late at a destination, to mention a few. It would be better to say "How are you going to show up to your mum's place (or wherever you are going) looking like that?", or "how are you going to meet your mum looking like that", or even perhaps change the verb and use "how are you going to turn up at (whatever place) looking like that?"


In my point of view, "show up" would like to emphasize that you appear in front of your mum strangely or unexpectedly, for example, you might wear some strange clothes or have a strange hear. But, "appear" does not have this meaning.

  • Answers on English Language Learners should not be based on points of view, or guesses, but on facts and sources.
    – TK-421
    Sep 4, 2019 at 5:56

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