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Let's move. Or else, we'll be late at the show.

I'm telling this to my friend. We have a plan to watch a movie and come back!

I remember a learned person advising me that using move for such thing is not a good practice. Because when you move, you shift or go for some mission! as in...

Let's move soldiers. Be brave and kill those buttheads or
True, we are moving next month. Visa and everything is ready.

Kindly confirm that what I understand is right. I have kept meaning in context as a tag so as to avoid it being closed as a general question of word meaning.

  • 2
    I would say "Let's move" would be appropriate if you wanted to good-naturedly and humorously speak as if going to the theater was part of a large-scale military operation. In other words, it could work, but you need to understand the underlying humor to make it work effectively. It might work better for a dad going to a picnic with three young kids: "Diaper bag? Check. Cooler? Check. Sandwiches? Check. Paper plates? Check. Drinks? Check. Games for the kids? Check. Okay, everything's loaded – let's move." The expression "let's roll" could also be used in that context. – J.R. May 28 '14 at 11:21
  • @J.R. Very useful. Thanks. It's clearer now. In fact, the example of the father is indeed noteworthy. I'll be happy to upvote it as an answer. – Maulik V May 28 '14 at 11:52
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The more common option is indeed let's go, but let's move works as well - with a slightly different meaning!

Let's move can mean several things:

  • Let's displace objects (or people) from one place to another. (The soldiers)
  • Let's go and live somewhere else. (We're moving next month)
  • Let's get a move on - let's physically move our bodies. (because we want to go somewhere)

However, for the last meaning, I believe the more idiomatic let's get a move on or let's get moving are more commonly used.

It is not just used when you want to go somewhere, you can also say:

Let's move! The house won't clean itself.

But more idiomatically:

Let's get a move on! The house won't clean itself.
Let's get moving! The house won't clean itself.

  • +1 I agree the imperative forms commands or requests, including the giving of prohibition or permission, or any other kind of exhortation. – Lucian Sava May 28 '14 at 11:28
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    More often I have heard or used "Let's get going". – user3169 May 28 '14 at 13:06
  • @user3169: sure, that is also used - but it does not use the verb move - and I focused on one verb in my answer :) – oerkelens May 28 '14 at 13:10
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Yes, it is correct. You'll probably find "let's go!" to be more common in colloquial use.

  • Yeah, that's what I practice. Thanks for confirming. Still, let others come with their bag of tricks! :) – Maulik V May 28 '14 at 11:07
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"Let's move" is a common phrase in the US meaning that it is time to leave, to head to our destination. It is intended to show a sense of urgency. Like, we are behind schedule, people are wasting time or sitting around doing nothing, it is time to take action and get going.

So yes, in context, if to be on time for the show you should have left ten minutes ago, you might quite reasonably say, "Let's move! The show is starting in 15 minutes!" or whatever.

In this context, it doesn't matter whether you are planning to return or not. One definition of the word "move" is to transfer to another location for an indefinite amount of time. This sense is most often used when you buy a new house or rent a new apartment: You say you are "moving" from your old home to your new home. It can also be used for a store or office transferring to a new location.

But "move" can also mean to change location with no connotation of whether you're coming back or not. You can say, "When the alarm went off I got out of bed and started moving". That doesn't mean you will never go back to bed, just that you began to be active. Or, "The car was moving down the road at high speed." This doesn't imply in any way that it will not return to its starting point.

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Let's move is absolutely okay to be used. It just depends on the context of usage, and on a personal note, it also depends on the relationship that you have with the people you use " Let's move" on. My answer is very similar in it's premise to that of J.R's comment.

Lets move is basically used in a commanding tone, so it does not have to be associated with the military but coaches of sports/athletic teams use it often as well. Generally, lets go can be interpreted as a request and let's move can be interpreted as a command.

"Please lets go or lets go please " is perfectly valid while " Please lets move or lets move please " sounds kinda funny.

So discussing your question. When you use it on your friends who are distracted from the goal (which is going to the movie) is perfectly valid, I myself end up stuck at the snack bar whenever I go to the movie to it takes a " lets move!" from my friends to get my ass out of the snack bar premises. So maybe you made plans for a movie and your friends end up playing black ops, counter strike, then a "lets move" is completely warranted and justified because the command "lets move" translates into a good natured " move your ass off the couch, we got a movie to catch" and that is fine. On the other hand, f you are going to the movies with just acquaintances or colleagues, then a requesting tone is appropriate so "lets go" would be more appropriate.

On a lighter note, trust me, when I am hooked to a game or a roadside snack, dragging me away from there is a mission. Hope it makes sense.

There is something else, sometimes people say " let's make a move" meaning to say "well, lets leave/move from here" I have heard my colleagues say "let's make a move then " when we go out for lunches or dinners and we are done eating. I don't know if it is related to the question, but I thought I might mention it.

  • Why the -1? any reasons? – NANDAGOPAL May 28 '14 at 12:20

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