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Author Topic: what does mean words when they ends with ...up  (Read 3039 times)

Offline taregg

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what does mean words when they ends with ...up
« on: 06/01/2013 19:10:00 »
exsample... clean the room or clean up the room
drink the water or drink up the water
speak up ...heat it up......


 

Offline David Cooper

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Re: what does mean words when they ends with ...up
« Reply #1 on: 06/01/2013 19:28:25 »
Sometimes it literally means "up" (pick up), but at other itmes it can mean such things as "to a higher value" (heat up) or "to completion" (drink up, tidy up). There are occasions where it merely serves to convert the verb in front of it into a verb of a different meaning, so the two act as a lexeme: e.g. blow up = explode.
 

Offline Bored chemist

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Re: what does mean words when they ends with ...up
« Reply #2 on: 06/01/2013 19:42:24 »
And, just to confuse people, "break up" and "break down" can mean pretty much the same thing.
 

Offline evan_au

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Re: what does mean words when they ends with ...up
« Reply #3 on: 07/01/2013 10:43:59 »
In my few attempts to learn another language, I have found that languages often have arbitrary rules for the relative position of things. You just need to learn the conventions - sometimes any original significance has been lost, even to native speakers.

It is usually fairly consistent for simple physical cases like "I walked up the stairs".
But for non-physical cases, it can be rather random, like "I had to give up running".

English is probably a bit worse than most languages, because it is an amalgam of several original languages, each of which had their own conventions.
 

Offline Don_1

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Re: what does mean words when they ends with ...up
« Reply #4 on: 08/01/2013 13:14:17 »
I think I'm going to agree with David, in that the addition of the word 'up' takes it to a higher level.

'Drink the water' implies just that, whereas 'drink up the water' implies to drink all the water.

But your example of 'speak up' is different to just 'speak'. If I tell you to 'speak' I simply want you to say something, but if I say 'speak up' I want you to increase the volume at which you are speaking, because I'm a deaf old git.

As BC wrote, both 'up' and 'down' can have the same meaning in some cases, but there are times when 'up' and 'down' are used in the wrong context.

I'm going 'up the road' or 'down the road'. Well, maybe, if I am going from a starting point in the middle of a hill, but otherwise I'm neither going 'up' nor 'down', I am actually going 'along the road', but would you say 'I'm going along the road to the shops' or would you say 'I'm going up/down the road to the shops'? Chances are, you would use the latter, not the former, we all tend to do it. The best way out of this dilema is simple; send someone else to the bloody shops for you.
 

Offline David Cooper

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Re: what does mean words when they ends with ...up
« Reply #5 on: 08/01/2013 19:25:03 »
A lot of it is messy: slow up = slow down, with the "up" not meaning "to completion" in this case but meaning an increase in slowness, and the "down" meaning a decrease in speed. With crack up, break up and blow up there is an idea of fragmentation in the "up". When it comes to going up or down the street, the "up" tends to mean the road goes upwards, whereas the "down" may refer to a level street or one that goes downwards. If describing a long journey, an "up" may mean northwards and "down" southwards, though one should always go "up" to London unless one starts in Scotland. In "think up", the idea of the "up" is "construct" rather than "reduce to fragments". You just have to learn how each usage of "up" works with each verb it occurs with.
 

Offline CliffordK

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Re: what does mean words when they ends with ...up
« Reply #6 on: 10/01/2013 23:08:01 »
You cracked me up with that one!!!  But, I think we need to crack down on some of the responses here!!!  Sometimes the words can have very different meanings.

As with break up vs break down the differences are very subtle, but distinct, with break up meaning creating smaller pieces of the original, each being essentially equivalent, while break down would mean to separate out the constituent parts.

This, of course, gets extended to inter-human relationships.  Break up the fight.  Break up the relationship. 
You might also break down a fight (such as a boxing match), in which one would analyze the effectiveness of each punch.
And Breaking down a relationship might be to analyze the individual parts, good things and bad things.

 

Offline bizerl

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Re: what does mean words when they ends with ...up
« Reply #7 on: 11/01/2013 00:58:58 »
"Break up" would refer to the increase of parts being generated. "Break down" would refer to the decrease in size of the components.

A couple would "break up" meaning that one whole becomes two parts (or three of four, depending on the reasons for the break up :)). A relationship suffers a "break down" meaning that the "size" of the relationship is diminished.

Trying to teach my 5 year old son how to speak English has really illustrated to me how utterly chaotic it is. It seems to me that it consists of a bunch of rules that all apply except when they don't.

Also, is there any difference between something that is flammable and something that is inflammable?
 

Offline CliffordK

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Re: what does mean words when they ends with ...up
« Reply #8 on: 11/01/2013 06:17:13 »
Also, is there any difference between something that is flammable and something that is inflammable?

Notes I'm seeing indicate that flammable and inflammable mean exactly the same thing.  However, flammable is the current common usage.

Apparently inflammable was derived from en-flammable. 
Whereas a word like inhospitable would be derived from un-hospitable.

More or less.  Anyway, it becomes confusing when a single prefix means opposite things, especially when it is critically important for things like flammability.  And, thus inflammable is discouraged.

As far as your 5 yr old.  You can explain many things to him.  However, it is truly amazing how well a child can "pick up" a language merely through being exposed to it. 

And, word pairs like
Break up, Break down, break in, break out, break apart, are often just learned in context, and thus it is often confusing to ask a native speaker to define the phrase, even if they can use it perfectly well.
 

Offline damocles

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Re: what does mean words when they ends with ...up
« Reply #9 on: 15/01/2013 13:23:35 »
Hmm! This is a science forum, and there is little scientific about the English language!

Here is one that amuses me: it has an exact opposite meaning if the coach of a football team resigns or re-signs
 

Offline David Cooper

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Re: what does mean words when they ends with ...up
« Reply #10 on: 15/01/2013 19:24:53 »
This is all most amusing.

This is almost amusing.
 

Offline menageriemanor

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Re: what does mean words when they ends with ...up
« Reply #11 on: 23/01/2013 08:58:05 »
don't forget break down used in the context of machinery can also mean just to stop working, and need work to go again.  My car can break down.  If I use that term, it doesn't imply it just conked out, and just needs to be started again.  It implies work/repair is needed for it to work again.

To speak up can also be an invitation to give your opinion, protest, complain, not just to speak louder.
 

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Re: what does mean words when they ends with ...up
« Reply #11 on: 23/01/2013 08:58:05 »

 

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