feed into the discussion

Discussion in 'English Only' started by Atna, Feb 18, 2013.

  1. Atna Senior Member

    Buenos Aires
    Español - Argentina
    Hello. I was wondering whether "feed into" is a phrasal verb in the following sentence: "In order to feed into the discussion, a consultant could be called upon to assess progress in this area." I've read in another thread (http://forum.wordreference.com/showthread.php?t=1513433&langid=24) that it means to encourage, but I can't find this meaning in any dictionary with feed followed by into. Any help is welcome.
     
  2. PaulQ

    PaulQ Senior Member

    UK
    English - England
    In your context, feed is used figuratively.

    Imagine a tube, say 1 cm in diameter. If you push a wire of, say, 2mm into the tube, and continue pushing it in, you are feeding the wire into the tube. (The obvious analogy is pushing food down a throat.)

    If you imagine a highway/motorway/main road, there may be smaller roads that join it - these are feeder roads - roads that feed the main highway (with traffic).

    The consultant's advice can thus be fed into the whole discussion. The image is enhanced by the idea that the consultant's words will also nourish the discussion.
     
  3. Atna Senior Member

    Buenos Aires
    Español - Argentina
    Thanks, PaulQ. But, then, wouldn't "in order to feed the discussion" without into be more correct?
     
  4. Thelb4 Senior Member

    UK English
    To continue PaulQ's wire/tube analogy, the discussion here is the tube here - not the wire. It's not explicitly stated what the consultant feeds into the discussion, but presumably it's something along the lines of useful ideas or constructive criticism.
     
  5. PaulQ

    PaulQ Senior Member

    UK
    English - England
    No, it would not. You feed an animal or yourself. You feed something into something.

    to feed into = to introduce into; to supply into; to push into - the into is essential.

    to feed = to supply with nourishment/ a source of energy

    "I fed the wood into the top of the stove to feed the fire" (fire is personified in this example - technically, it is a "thing")
     
  6. Atna Senior Member

    Buenos Aires
    Español - Argentina
    Ok. I thank you all.
     

Share This Page