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      • Interested in Language
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    #1

    A lot of confusion about four verbs

    I got a question about four English verbs that in my native language have just one translation:
    They are : to trample, to tread, to step (on), to stamp (on).
    I have always used only To Step on and To Stamp on, with this difference in meaning: The first one is when I put my foot on something without paying any attention or whenever I don't want to hit anything in particular or hurt anyone; the second is when I use my feet to kill something, maybe a cockroach or something, so I want to do this with my feet...
    Is this use of these two verbs correct? Or are they used in different ways?

    Yesterday I came across the verb To Tread, and according to what my dictionary says, it could be considered a British synonym of To step...is that correct? It would be a synonym of To step on, and not of To stamp.

    What about the use of to trample...?

    I hope you can help with these verbs because they're driving me crazy....!

    Thanks so much.

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    #2

    Re: A lot of confusion about four verbs

    Your understanding of step and stamp (or AmE, "stomp") is correct. You could probably live your life with just those two verbs.

    "Trample" and "tread" aren't very common words. "Trample" brings to mind stepping through a flower bed or similarly causing damage. "Tread" just means to step and is commonly found in set phrases like "where angels fear to tread" or the American colonial warning "Don't tread on me."

  1. emsr2d2's Avatar
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      • English Teacher
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    #3

    Re: A lot of confusion about four verbs

    "Trample" is also used for what animals do when they run over something, frequently with disastrous consequences with large animals.

    My aunt was trampled to death by a herd of cows.
    The horse trampled its owner in the stable and the owner is now critically ill in hospital.
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

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