I've made some sentences about using an elevator and I'm wondering if the sentences in each group synonymous, i.e. mean the same thing and correct. Could you help me see the difference between them if there's any? If there's none, does it mean the sentences in each group can be used interchangeably?

  1. I’m in the elevator. I'm on the elevator.
  2. I’m taking the elevator. I'm riding in the elevator. I’m riding the elevator.
  3. I'm getting into the elevator. I'm getting on the elevator.
  4. I rode up in the elevator with him last night. I took (up?) the elevator with him last night.
  5. He got on the elevator and got stuck. He took the elevator and got stuck.
  6. I’ll get the elevator. I’ll call up the elevator.
  7. Get in the elevator. Get on the elevator.
  8. Get out of the elevator. Step out of the elevator. Get off the elevator.

1 Answer 1


For 1, 3 and 7, on sounds wrong to my ears. In Br.Eng. I would always expect in(to) a lift (elevator).

For 2, they're basically interchangeable in meaning. "Taking" feels much more natural and commonplace to me, but that might be dialect or idiolect. Likewise for 5, they're basically interchangeable but "took" feels more natural to me.

For 4(b), you would want to say I took the elevator up with him last night. Then it would be interchangeable with 4(a). With up placed where you have it, it sounds odd, because take up is a phrasal verb with a different meaning that is not intended here.

For 6, call up makes it clear you are requesting the elevator, whereas get is ambiguous as to whether you are requesting it, or using it / taking it / getting into it.

For 8, I wouldn't use off for the same reason I wouldn't use on. The others are basically interchangeable.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .