There are very subtle differences between “sign in” and “log in” that it would help to understand. You might also see “sign up” used, and it would help to know when all of these phrases apply. This article will help you to understand more about them all.
What Is The Difference Between “Sign Up,” “Sign In,” And “Log In”?
“Sign up” applies when you first log your details into a service. Once you’ve “signed up,” you can “sign in” or “log in.” Different websites ask for different things. “Sign in” means to enter details once, while “log in” means to enter details to be contained in a system log.
“Sign up” is the most different of the three since it only applies before you’ve put any details in. This is a standard phrase used by many social media sites.
“Sign in” and “log in” are nearly interchangeable. Many native speakers won’t even know the difference. They would only know it if they had a decent understanding of computing or programming.
“Log in” is more common when you are signing up to have your details recorded as part of a log. That means every session is tracked and recorded. “Sign in” is more common when this logging is less important.
What Does “Sign Up” Mean?
“Sign up” means registering your details for a website or service. This occurs before you have set up an account. Once an account is set up, you no longer need to “sign up” for one (unless you want more than one account).
- Are you going to sign up for the service? I think it would be good for you to try it out.
- You should sign up! I think you’re missing out on a lot of interesting things by not having an account.
- I’m not going to sign up because I don’t see the point in social media. Sorry, but it’s just not who I am.
- I’m signing up as we speak! I don’t know why it took me so long, but I’m glad to get it done.
- I thought we could sign up together. That would mean that we both know how to contact each other.
What Does “Sign In” Mean?
“Sign in” is most common when using websites. It refers to a single sign-in attempt, which is common for most people. As long as you know your username and password, you can sign in to most websites at the click of a button.
After signing in, you usually don’t have to worry about anything else that goes on in the back-end (so login details are irrelevant).
- Did you sign in to your account earlier today? I saw you come online, but you didn’t message me.
- I signed in to his account to check what he was up to. I wasn’t happy with what I saw.
- You should sign in! I need you to see this picture, and you’re not going to want to miss it.
- If you could just sign in for me, I’ll be able to sort everything out after you’ve done that.
- Sorry, but what are you signing in for? We’re really busy right now, so you shouldn’t be looking at social media anyway.
You may also like: Sign in, Signin or Sign-in? (Helpful Examples)
What Does “Log In” Mean?
“Log in” means that your login activity is tracked. There is usually a system in place that will record each login. Typically, you are able to view this in some way to check what you’ve been doing and relate things back to previous login attempts.
- You should log in again. We need to keep a record of all the times you joined the site.
- If you’re not going to log in again, why are you here? We’re only having this meeting to discuss system options.
- Log into your computer when you’re ready. We need to see what you’ve been working on lately.
- Log in, please. We need everyone to be ready for the call, and it will happen in five minutes.
- You should log in again. I think it would be good to have it all sorted on the back-end.
Is “Sign Up,” “Sign In,” Or “Log In” Used The Most?
According to Google Ngram Viewer, “sign up” is the most popular of the three. That’s because it’s usually standard for all websites to use it when looking for you to register your details. “Sign in” is the most common when you are already registered.
“Sign in” is more popular because people often choose to sign in one time. Since they don’t have access to the login details on the back-end, it doesn’t make sense for people to “log in.” They are only in control of one singular “sign in” at a time.
Do You “Sign In” Or “Log In” To Social Media?
It might help to know which social media sites use “sign in” and which use “log in.”
This table will help you understand the differences:
Three of the sites use “sign in,” showing that it’s the more common option. It’s better for single users to “sign in,” since they often don’t have access to the logging profiles anyway.
Facebook and Instagram both use “log in,” which shows that both websites track your login details when you use them. There is a back-end system in place to do this.
They are also part of the same company, Meta, which is why they both agree that “log in” is the better phrase for them to use.
Quiz: Have You Mastered “Sign Up,” “Sign In,” And “Log In”?
Finally, let’s see what you’ve learned by giving you a quick quiz:
- I’m going to need you to (A. sign up / B. sign in / C. log in) so I can see what you’re doing.
- You should (A. sign up / B. sign in / C. log in) for this website. It’s really interesting.
- Have you (A. signed up / B. signed in / C. logged in) for the service? I think you’ll like it.
- We need you to (A. sign up / B. sign in / C. log in) so that we can check the records associated with your account.
- I’ll (A. sign up / B. sign in / C. log in) to Facebook in just a second. Bear with me.
Martin holds a Master’s degree in Finance and International Business. He has six years of experience in professional communication with clients, executives, and colleagues. Furthermore, he has teaching experience from Aarhus University. Martin has been featured as an expert in communication and teaching on Forbes and Shopify. Read more about Martin here.