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  1. #1
    dilodi83 is offline Senior Member
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    Default hollow and empty

    Could you explain me how to use the adjectives empty and hollow? It's really hard to me to understand their meaning because in my language they mean the same so I cannot catch the difference between them.
    Maybe some examples would be useful.

  2. #2
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    JohnParis is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: hollow and empty

    Hollow is most commonly used as an adjective.
    Hollow means having a hole or empty space inside. Example: Each fiber has a hollow core.
    Hollow can also mean having a depression in the surface of a thing; concave. Example: The old man had hollow cheeks.
    Hollow is also a verb and a noun. Check your dictionary.

    Empty means containing nothing; not filled or occupied. Example: He took his empty coffee cup back to the counter. The room was empty of furniture.

  3. #3
    taita87 is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: hollow and empty

    I am italian too, and I probably understand what you mean.

    Oxford dictionary:
    Hollow
    1 having a hole or empty space inside : each fiber has a hollow core.
    • (of a thing) having a depression in its surface; concave : hollow cheeks.

    From my point of view, I think that hollow is more about the shape of the object you are referring to. You should use empty instead to describe the content of a certain object.

    For example, hydraulic tubes are hollow (it means that they are "cavitary" cylinders, ie a solid object with a cavity inside) and they could be empty (referred to the content of the "cavity")

    Hope to be helpful

  4. #4
    dilodi83 is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: hollow and empty

    Thanks so much

  5. #5
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    Barb_D is offline Moderator
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    Default Re: hollow and empty

    Quote Originally Posted by taita87 View Post
    hollow is more about the shape of the object you are referring to. You should use empty instead to describe the content of a certain object.
    Good distinction!
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

  6. #6
    birdeen's call is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: hollow and empty

    Quote Originally Posted by taita87 View Post
    I am italian too, and I probably understand what you mean.

    Oxford dictionary:
    Hollow
    1 having a hole or empty space inside : each fiber has a hollow core.
    • (of a thing) having a depression in its surface; concave : hollow cheeks.

    From my point of view, I think that hollow is more about the shape of the object you are referring to. You should use empty instead to describe the content of a certain object.

    For example, hydraulic tubes are hollow (it means that they are "cavitary" cylinders, ie a solid object with a cavity inside) and they could be empty (referred to the content of the "cavity")

    Hope to be helpful
    I think it's a very good explanation.

    It's interesting that, while a tube and a torus are homeomorphic (unless we want to disregard the thickness of the tube's walls, it is just a stretched-out torus), we consider the tube to be hollow and not the torus. Both objects have a hole in the middle: if we put them both on the ground in such a way that the empty spaces can be seen from above, then horizontal cross-sections are of exactly the same kind for both -- they're rings. However, for a torus to be hollow, this is not enough for some reason. It would need to have "hollow" vertical cross-sections to be that.

    I think it's because we don't really think of the hole in the middle of the torus to be inside it.

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