Roger That Vs Copy That

Roger That Vs Copy That: Understanding the Difference

In the world of communication, certain catchphrases or specific expressions have become a part of standard language used by professionals, military personnel, or people engaged in different activities that require clear and concise communication. The phrases “Roger That” and “Copy That” are among the most popular expressions that are commonly used, often interchangeably. Both phrases convey a sense of comprehension, but they have subtle differences in meaning and usage. In this article, we will discuss the distinctions between Roger That and Copy That and how to use them properly.

What Does ‘Roger That’ Mean?

“Roger” is originally derived from the radio language, and it means “received and understood”. The phrase “Roger That” is commonly used in the military, aviation, and maritime industries to acknowledge a received message that requires a response or assigning a task, indicating that the message was received and understood. Furthermore, the phrase can also imply that the speaker will comply with the message or complete the task.

Using “Roger That” in a conversation helps to confirm that the message was heard and understood by the recipient, thereby preventing miscommunication or confusion. In essence, it mainly indicates the acknowledgment of receipt of a message.

What Does ‘Copy That’ Mean?

“Copy That” is another commonly used expression in various industries, including the police, emergency services, aviation, and military mostly as a substitute to “Roger That” when clear instructions are given. In most cases, “Copy That” precedes a message being repeated to the sender to ensure accuracy.

The phrase “Copy That” is commonly used in situations where there is a need to keep a record of the communication or an assignment in progress. It confirms that the information has been received, recorded, and repeated back for accuracy. The emphasis is not just on receiving the message but also an indication that everything is documented correctly.

What Are the Differences Between ‘Roger That’ and ‘Copy That’?

The differences between Roger That and Copy That are subtle but significant, and these differences mostly relate to their usage and context.


“Roger That” is essentially an acknowledgement of the received message, indicating that the message has been heard and understood. Its primary aim is to establish a clear understanding and prevent miscommunication or misunderstanding.

“Copy That” functions as an acknowledgment that the message has been received and recorded correctly. It is used when the communication is vital, and the recipient is required to document it.


Both phrases can be used interchangeably, but the context will determine its usage. In most cases, “Roger That” is used when the information requires a response indicating an understanding of the instructions. Whereas “Copy That” is used when there is a need to document the communication or progress of an assignment.


“Roger That” is the more commonly known expression between the two, frequently used in civil and military communication. It emphasizes that the message has been received and understood fully.

“Copy That” is more specialized because it is commonly used in certain industries such as law enforcement, emergency services, aviation, and military, where documenting clear and concise communication is critical.


“Roger That” and “Copy That” are two phrases that have become an integral part of the communication industry. Although both phrases convey an understanding of the message received, there are subtle distinctions significant to their usage and context that people must understand. A proper understanding of these phrases can serve as an essential aspect of communication that could prevent miscommunications or confusion.


Q: Can both phrases be used interchangeably?

A: Yes, both phrases can be used interchangeably to convey a sense of understanding between the sender and the recipient.

Q: What is the proper response to “Roger That” or “Copy That”?

A: A proper response to “Roger That” or “Copy That” could be the phrase “10-4”, which directly translates to “understand.”

Q: What does “Read you loud and clear” mean?

A: This phrase means that the message has been received and understood without any distortion in the message.

Q: Can civilians use “Roger That” or “Copy That”?

A: Yes, they can. Although these phrases are commonly used in the military, aviation, and maritime industries, and specific law enforcement departments, anybody can use them.

In conclusion, these phrases may sound outdated, but they can still be used in our everyday communication. They are phrases often used in high-pressure situations to convey the understanding of the message and the progress of an assignment. It is vital to have a clear understanding of these phrases and when to use them, as that could help prevent miscommunication and misunderstanding in any context of communication.