A German-speaking student e-mailed me this tricky question about the difference between when we use to “sleep in” versus to “oversleep”. Here’s how I responded:
Question: Which is correct?
If I don’t wake up on time (verschlafen), do I sleep in or oversleep?
Answer: I like your question. There definitely is a difference in attitude when I sleep in or oversleep. My husband mistakes my sleeping in for oversleeping all the time on Saturdays! He’s a real early bird. Here’s what I mean….
When we want to wake up at a specific time, especially for work, and don’t – then we would use the term to oversleep. For example: “My alarm clock didn’t go off and I overslept. Sorry I’m late.”
When we purposely want to sleep for a long time in the morning, for example, on Saturdays of Sundays, then we say: “No alarm clocks tomorrow for me – let’s just sleep in.” (American English) OR ” Let’s have a lie in tomorrow.” (British English)
Maybe the visual below might help you remember the meaning of “oversleep”, taken from: www.geeksaresexy.com
- “The solution to oversleeping” [Comic] (dottech.org)