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  1. #1
    joham is online now Key Member
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    do the washing; do the washing up

    What's the difference between these two sentences:

    She's doing the washing.
    She's doing the washing up.

    Thank you very much in advance.

  2. #2
    Batfink is offline Member
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    Re: do the washing; do the washing up

    The first is general. She could be washing clothes...
    The second is specific to dishes.

  3. #3
    Dawood Usmani's Avatar
    Dawood Usmani is offline Senior Member
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    Question Re: do the washing; do the washing up

    Quote Originally Posted by joham View Post
    What's the difference between these two sentences:

    She's doing the washing.
    She's doing the washing up.

    Thank you very much in advance.
    (a)
    wash (sth) up phrasal verb [M]
    to clean the plates, pans, and other things that you have used for cooking and eating:
    He washed up his mug and put it back on the shelf.
    washing-up UK
    noun [U] (US dishes)
    the act of cleaning plates, pans, glasses, knives, forks' etc. after a meal, or the items needing to be washed:
    You do the washing-up and I'll do the drying.
    (b)
    washing
    noun [U]
    1 (US ALSO the wash) the act of washing clothes:
    Doing the washing is such a bore!
    US ALSO wash) clothes, sheets, etc. that need to be or have just been washed:
    I do the washing and then I hang/peg it out in the garden.
    To sum up, your first sentence suggests she's washing clothes whereas the second sentences implies she's washing pots.
    Hope this helps!
    Best regards!
    Dawood

  4. #4
    BobK's Avatar
    BobK is offline Harmless drudge
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    Re: do the washing; do the washing up

    Quote Originally Posted by Batfink View Post
    The first is general. She could be washing clothes...
    The second is specific to dishes.
    Maybe it is general in Ireland. In British English (and possibly elsewhere) it's specific to clothes/linen/household material.

    b

  5. #5
    Ouisch's Avatar
    Ouisch is offline Moderator
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    Re: do the washing; do the washing up

    "Washing up" is mostly BrE, I think. I've heard it in films and such referring to washing the dishes.

    In any case, "washing up" is rarely used in AmE. If you're going to wash clothes, you say "I'm going to do the laundry" or "My mom does the wash every Saturday." If you're going to clean up after dinner, you say "I'm going to do the dishes" or "I'll load the dishwasher, you go relax."

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