0

Recently, I know the Word "get up to". It just means "do something." But I still don't understand the difference between "be up to" and "get up to".

For example, When I want to ask what you did yesterday, I say

What were you up to yesterday?
=What did you get up to yesterday?

When I want to ask what you're doing right now, I say

What are you up to now?
=What are you getting up to now?

When I haven't seen you for a long time and ask what you have been doing recently, I say

What have you been up to?
=What have you been getting up to?

When I want to ask what you're gonna do tomorrow, I say

What are you up to tomorrow?
=What do you get up to tomorrow?

Am I right? Thank you for your help.

1

According to Cambridge Dictionary here and here:

be up to sth = to be doing something:

  • What are you up to at the moment?

and

get up to sth = to do something, often something that other people would disapprove of:

  • She's been getting up to all sorts of mischief lately.
  • I wonder what those two got up to yesterday?

So the use of to get up to sth implies a bad intention / deed, unlike to be up to sth.

@RonaldSole correctly adds in the comment (thank you):

to be up to sth = is also used in the sense of be capable of.

  • Will he be up to a long walk so soon after his operation?
  • 1
    Be up- to is also used in the sense of be capable of. Will he be up to a long walk so soon after his operation? – Ronald Sole Feb 18 at 13:27
  • edited, thank you, +1 – virolino Feb 18 at 13:35
  • I still don't get it. I know "get up to sth" is used to sometimes express something that you shouldn't do. But actually "get up to sth" is used instead of "do sth". I've checked Cambridge Dictionary. There're some examples that use "get up to" instead of "do" . For example, What have you been getting up to?. Sometimes I hear "What have you been up to?". That's why I'm asking the difference "be up to" and "get up to". Thank you for your help. – Mashall Feb 18 at 13:42
  • @Mashall: your observation is good. The two "words" can mean the same thing sometimes. But in those times, a broader context is needed, and other factors like intonation, gestures... are also important. – virolino Feb 18 at 13:46
0

Idiom Definition 1 enter image description here "up to"

occupied with, especially devising or scheming  

Idiom Definition 2 enter image description here "up to"

able to do or deal with  

Idiom Definition 3 enter image description here "up to"

dependent on  

Idiom Definition 4 "up to"

as far as or approaching a certain point  

For more information on "up to"

0

"Get up to" would translate to what did you accomplish. "be up to" translates to what are you planning on accomplishing.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.