Phrasal verbs "act out" vs "opt out"

Differences between act out and opt out

Act out means to express one's emotions or feelings through behavior, often in an inappropriate or disruptive way. On the other hand, opt out means to choose not to participate in something or to decline an invitation or opportunity.

Meanings and Definitions: act out vs opt out

Learn how to use these expressions through these examples

Act out

  • 1Perform something with actions and gestures..

    They ACTED OUT the story on stage.

  • 2Express an emotion in your behaviour.

    Their anger is ACTED OUT in their antisocial behaviour.

Opt out

  • 1Choose not to be part of something.

    The UK OPTED OUT of a lot of EU legislation on working hours and conditions.

Usage Examples: act out, opt out in Sentences

Learn how to use these expressions through these examples

act out


The children love to act out their favorite fairy tales.


She acts out the scenes from her favorite movies.

opt out


Many people opt out of receiving promotional emails.


She opts out of the company's health insurance plan.

Similar Expressions(Synonyms) of Act out

To have an outburst of anger or frustration, often in a childish or immature way.


When he didn't get his way, he threw a tantrum and started screaming and kicking.

To react angrily or aggressively towards someone or something.


She lashed out at her colleague for criticizing her work, even though it was constructive feedback.

To behave in a way that is unacceptable or inappropriate, often breaking rules or social norms.


The children were misbehaving in class, so the teacher had to send them to the principal's office.

Similar Expressions(Synonyms) of Opt out


To politely refuse an invitation or offer.


I had to decline the job offer because the salary wasn't enough to cover my expenses.

To remove oneself from a situation or activity, often by choice.


He decided to withdraw from the race because he didn't feel prepared enough to compete.

To gracefully decline an invitation or opportunity, often due to personal reasons.


She had to bow out of the party because she wasn't feeling well and needed to rest.

Explore more Phrasal Verbs

Here are some phrasal verbs with the same verbs or particles

Phrasal Verbs with “act”

Phrasal Verbs with “opt”

Phrasal Verbs with “out”

Differences in act out vs opt out: Usage, Formality, and Tone

Frequency in Daily Use: act out or opt out?

In daily conversation, people use opt out more often than act out. This is because opt out is used in various situations such as declining an invitation, opting out of a subscription, or withdrawing from a competition. Act out is not used as much and is mainly used when we're talking about someone expressing their emotions or feelings through behavior.

Informal vs Formal: Contextual Use of act out and opt out

Act out and opt out are both informal phrases often used in casual conversations. They are suitable for everyday interactions with friends and family. In more formal settings like business or academic contexts, using alternative expressions can convey a more polished tone.

Tone and Implication: The Nuances of act out and opt out

The tone of act out and opt out can differ based on context. Act out often carries a negative or disapproving tone when related to inappropriate behavior, while opt out typically has a neutral or positive tone, especially when referring to making a personal choice.

act out & opt out: Synonyms and Antonyms

Act out


Opt out



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