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  1. retro's Avatar
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    #1

    hold, admit, contain

    I've got 2 questions about the proper usage of the verbs admit, hold and contain.

    1. Can we use 'admit' and 'hold' interchangeably to mean to have enough space for sg/sb?
    Ex: The plane admits/holds 250 people.
    The barrel admits/holds 30 liters.
    The conference room holds/admits 300 people.


    2. Can we use 'contain' and 'hold' interchangeably to mean to have sg inside sg else?
    Ex: The museum holds/contains 120 paintings of Monet.
    The barrel contains/holds 30 liters.

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    #2

    Re: hold, admit, contain

    1 I wouldn't use 'admits' in any of those examples.
    2 The barrel holds 30 liters- it could be full or empty as this refers to capacity, while 'contains' would mean that there is that amount of liquid in it, though there could be room for more.

  2. retro's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: hold, admit, contain

    Hi Tdol,

    Quote Originally Posted by Tdol View Post
    1 I wouldn't use 'admits' in any of those examples.
    Are you saying that 'admit' can only mean to allow sb/sg to enter a place like a room, theater etc. but not motor vehicles and, therefore, examples below are only correct?

    1. He opened the window to admit fresh air into the room.
    2. The man armed with a gun wasn't admitted to the restaurant.
    3. The hall admits 1000 people.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tdol View Post
    2 The barrel holds 30 liters- it could be full or empty as this refers to capacity, while 'contains' would mean that there is that amount of liquid in it, though there could be room for more.
    Since 'hold' can mean both to have or keep within and have room or space for, should we use "the barrel's capacity is 30 liters" to refer to its capacity, and only "the barrel contains 15 liters" when signifying its contant to avoid ambiguity?

    However, Webster states that even 'contain' can also have the meaning of having the capacity of holding.

    Any more suggestions?

    Thank you

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    #4

    Re: hold, admit, contain

    Admit- only the second sounds natural to me.
    Use a modal- 'can hold thirty litres'

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