Hello! Today I’ll be looking at dress, get dressed, dress up, dress yourself, and put on.
If you dress (slightly formal) or get dressed (more informal) you put on all your clothes. But you usually use put on if you are talking about just one piece of clothing or things like glasses or jewellery. Here are some examples: It’s ten o’ clock – time to get dressed! We had to wash and dress in a freezing bathroom. OK, you can put your shirt back on.
You dress up only in special clothes or for a special occasion. These may be particularly good or formal ones: What kind of party is it? Will we have to dress up? Or they may be unusual clothes that make you look like someone else, for example if you are acting in a play: He had to dress up as a clown.
You only talk about someone dressing themselves if a special effort is involved: Can Tara dress herself yet? (Tara is a small child) or Since the accident he can’t feed or dress himself.