A person who is awake is not sleeping, or the person is up and active after sleeping. This word can be used as an adjective or as a verb.

In these examples, the word "awake" is an adjective:

  • He’s not awake yet. He’s still sleeping.
  • Are you awake?
  • It sounds like the children are awake.
  • I don’t feel very awake yet.
  • She doesn’t look like she’s awake.
  • Peter is barely awake. He should go to bed.
  • Drinking coffee in the evening might keep me awake at night, so I only drink it in the morning.
  • A strong cup of coffee can help you stay awake.
  • Todd’s snoring kept everyone awake last night.

people trying to sleep

When the word "awake" is used as a verb, it’s usually used in the past tense or as a past participle when a person ends a period of sleep; however, "awake" is not always the best choice when choosing a verb for this kind of action. Sometimes "woke up" is a better choice as it means about the same thing.

simplepastpast participle
  • They awoke early this morning.
  • They woke up early this morning. (This sounds better.)
  • They have finally awakened.
  • They have finally woken up. (This sounds better.)
  • What time did you awake?
  • What time did you wake up? (This sounds better.)
  • We awoke to the smell of someone making breakfast.
  • The town awoke to the news that a tornado had ripped through the area and caused major damage.
  • It’s nice to awake to a warm, sunny morning.

To awaken is a slightly different form of the verb "awake." When something or someone is awakened, there is a better awareness or consciousness or the release of some kind of potential.

  • The volcano suddenly awakened after centuries of lying dormant.
  • Shana awakened to the possibility that she was harming herself by not exercising.
  • The community has finally awakened to the need for safer routes for bicyclists who commute to work by bike.
  • The girl who works beside Bill has awakened the young man’s desire for romance.

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August 1, 2019