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    #1

    do all these verbs mean the same thing?

    Dear teachers, I have a doubt about the use that English people do of these verbs.
    They are: to block up, to bung up, to clog up, to plug up.

    1)Don't pour the bacon grease in the sink - it will plug up the drain.
    2)I need to plug up the hole in the roof where the snow is leaking in.
    3)My nose is plugged up, I cannot breathe.
    4)Call the plumber, the drain is plugged up.
    5) The coffe machine keeps plugging up.
    6)Fallen leaves had plugged up the drains.

    I've used in every sentence the same verb, but my question is: can the verb "plug up" be substituted by the other verbs? Are they always synonyms or are there any particular collocations for these verbs? Do they all mean the same concept?

  1. 5jj's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: do all these verbs mean the same thing?

    1)Don't pour the bacon grease in the sink - it will plug up block/clog the drain.
    2)I need to plug up plug/block the hole in the roof where the snow is leaking in.
    3)My nose isplug upblocked, I cannot breathe.
    4)Call the plumber, the drain is plug upblocked/clogged.
    5) (?) The coffee machine keeps plug up getting clogged.
    6)Fallen leaves had plug upblocked/clogged the drains.

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    #3

    Re: do all these verbs mean the same thing?

    Quote Originally Posted by 5jj View Post
    1)Don't pour the bacon grease in the sink - it will plug up block/clog the drain.
    2)I need to plug up plug/block the hole in the roof where the snow is leaking in.
    3)My nose isplug upblocked, I cannot breathe.
    4)Call the plumber, the drain is plug upblocked/clogged.
    5) (?) The coffee machine keeps plug up getting clogged.
    6)Fallen leaves had plug upblocked/clogged the drains.
    I cannot understand why "plug up" is not correct, since I took these sentences from a book which has been written by an American English speaker...could you please explain how to use these verbs properly? I accept the corrections but I'd like to figure out how to use them correctlyas well...

  2. 5jj's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: do all these verbs mean the same thing?

    I am a speaker of BRE, and I don't plug up anything. I plug holes and gaps. Some speakers of BrE plug up holes, but there are very few citations in the BNC.

  3. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: do all these verbs mean the same thing?

    In my opinion, "to plug [up]" suggests that the action was done on purpose. You plug a hole in the ceiling on purpose, in order to stop the rain coming in. It is a repair. However, oil does not plug up the drain on purpose - it is simply that the result of pouring oil into the drain is that the drain becomes blocked. In the same way, the fallen leaves did not block the drains of their own volition, it was simply an unfortunate result, so they didn't "plug the drains up" or leave them "plugged up".

    The only time I would use "plug up" as a phrasal verb would be in a situation such as the repair of a hole and even then, I would probably simply use "to plug".

    As far as what happens to one's nose when one has a cold, I would use "My nose is blocked" or "My nose is bunged up" but I have never heard or used "plugged up" to refer to that symptom.

    I'm rather surprised that all those sentence in your book were written by a native speaker.
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

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    #6

    Re: do all these verbs mean the same thing?

    Quote Originally Posted by emsr2d2 View Post
    In my opinion, "to plug [up]" suggests that the action was done on purpose. You plug a hole in the ceiling on purpose, in order to stop the rain coming in. It is a repair. However, oil does not plug up the drain on purpose - it is simply that the result of pouring oil into the drain is that the drain becomes blocked. In the same way, the fallen leaves did not block the drains of their own volition, it was simply an unfortunate result, so they didn't "plug the drains up" or leave them "plugged up".

    The only time I would use "plug up" as a phrasal verb would be in a situation such as the repair of a hole and even then, I would probably simply use "to plug".

    As far as what happens to one's nose when one has a cold, I would use "My nose is blocked" or "My nose is bunged up" but I have never heard or used "plugged up" to refer to that symptom.

    I'm rather surprised that all those sentence in your book were written by a native speaker.
    Thanks so much for your explanation

    Is there any American speaker who wants to tell his/her opinion about these verbs to compare their use in BE and AE?

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