1

This was the context I saw.

A kid has been attending in an English speaking school in Vietnam (a non-English country) since the 1st grade. I am pretty sure that he can speak Vietnamese very well. His English seemed very fluent.

And, when he saw a girl blocking his way, he said "move it" to ask her to move out of his way.

Did he say correctly?

According to many dictionaries

move it ​(especially in orders)

(informal) to do something more quickly because there is not much time

Move it! We’re going to be late!


Dictionaries also say

out of the way

​no longer stopping somebody from moving or doing something

I moved my legs out of the way so that she could get past.

I didn't say anything until Dad was out of the way.


So, I think regardless of bad manner, "move / get out of the way" is more accurate than "move it". "Move it" is way too ambiguous.

However, some native speakers (maybe from the United States) say we can use "move it" to ask someone to let us go by or go past, but it is very rude (quora question). They were also sure that "move it" is more popular than "move/get out of the way" in this situation regardless of manner.

I am confused.

Which is correct?

  • 2
    Move it! is an abrupt request for someone to move or hurry, but without the specific meaning of getting out of the way. – Kate Bunting Jun 15 at 8:10
  • @KateBunting, but some native speakers say differently. Do I trust dictionaries or some random native speakers I found else where? – Tom Jun 15 at 9:51
  • Move it! can mean Hurry up! OR Get out of the way!. – Lambie Aug 16 at 18:10
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"Move it" and "move/get out of the way" are both correct, but "move it" comes across as more demanding and forceful.

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Move it= colloquial, to do something right away
Get out of the way=not colloquial, standard English
Move out of the way=not colloquial, standard English

  • Move it or I will call the cops! [move your car, for example. Same as get moving]

  • Move (your car) out of the way or I will call the cops! [same as above, but not colloquial]

  • Move it or you won't get any ice cream [mother to kids. Same as: get moving]

  • Move out of way [blocking a door, for example] or you won't get any ice cream.

Move it is not about time per se. It is about you wanting someone else to do something as given in the examples above. Move it refers to getting someone to move a vehicle or themselves so the speaker get what he or she wants. That said, Move it! is often said when people get nervous about "getting on with it" (get something done).

move out of the way means move yourself out of the way or your vehicle or boat or bicycle,etc. because you are "in someone's way", which means blocking their movement forward.

Examples:

  • You are in my way. Please move.
  • Please get out of my way. I need to back-up my car. OR I need to vacuum the rug right there.

Move it is often synonymous with Get moving or the nicer: Let's get moving.

(Bonus tip: People often will say Move your ass or arse! to mean Hurry-up!)

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