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Fill in, Fill out, and Fill up

Discussion in 'Spanish-English Grammar / Gramática Español-Inglés' started by Sandy_Bella, Jul 1, 2009.

  1. Sandy_Bella

    Sandy_Bella Senior Member

    TeGuCiGaLpA, Honduras •_•
    EsPaÑoL (CaTrACHO)
    Hey guys!
    I'm reviewing some phrasal verbs and am having
    some problems concerning the difference among:
    fill in, fill out and fill up.
    Would you help me to figure out the difference among
    I will appreciate it
    Thanks in advance
  2. Tazzler Senior Member

    American English
    Ah, this is hard! I think it mainly has to do with the nature of the preposition. Use fill up when talking about some empty container and you filling the container with something up to the point where putting in more would cause some of that material to fall out. Fill out is mainly used when talking about completing something with information, like a form or a survey. Fill in is the rarest of the three, and it is used when talking about something like bubbling in a circle on an answer sheet for a test.

    If you have seen sentences whose choice of preposition confuses you, please post them as they will help us help you. :)
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2009
  3. zumac Senior Member

    Mexico City
    USA: English & Spanish
    "Fill in" is used when you tell someone to enter something (one field) on a form. Example: Fill in your name here.
    It could possibly be more than one field, but generally not the entire form. Example: Fill in your name here, and you phone number over here.

    "Fill out" is generally used when you tell someone to enter all the fields on a form of more than one field. Example: Please fill out this form.

    "Fill up" has many uses, like:
    Fill up this box with those books.
    Fill up my tank with premium gasoline.
    Fill up this jar with drinking water.

    Note: I have replied to your three questions although the rules of the forum state that there should only be one question per thread. Please read the rules.

  4. jinti

    jinti Senior Member

    To add to previous answers:

    Fill in means to supply something that's missing. So you fill in the blanks on a test, for example, or you can fill in a triangle with a color (change it from an outline to a solid triangle by coloring inside it), or you can fill in (substitute) for an absent colleague at work. And you can fill in a form because you're supplying missing information.

    Fill out means to complete by supplying requested information.

    So you can fill in Form 195B (I get a mental picture of a form with blanks to write numbers or small bits of data) or fill it out (could be either a form with blanks or one that asks for longer answers). Those mental pictures aren't the only possibilities, but you can see why both phrases work.

    Fill up means to make full. You fill up containers with liquid, for example, or you fill up your stomach with junk food. If you fill up a form, you've used all the available space on it and have to ask for another sheet of paper. :)
  5. Seikun

    Seikun Senior Member

    Chile - Castellano
    I just knew the meaning of fill in. Now I have a doubt. What is the difference among these three forms and the verb to fill?

  6. sound shift Senior Member

    Derby (central England)
    English - England
    In the UK, we fill in forms. In the USA they fill out forms. There is no difference in meaning.

    "To fill a form" is not correct anywhere.
  7. jinti

    jinti Senior Member

    Fill in is heard in the US, as well, with the meaning stated above.
  8. Seikun

    Seikun Senior Member

    Chile - Castellano
    Don't forget to explain the verb To fill, the meaning and when we can use it, please!
  9. zepelin2100

    zepelin2100 Junior Member

    Naples, Fl
    In the case of fill in:
    Fill your name in here
  10. Sandy_Bella

    Sandy_Bella Senior Member

    TeGuCiGaLpA, Honduras •_•
    EsPaÑoL (CaTrACHO)
    Thank you so much!
    You have provided me such
    a valuable information. ^_^

    :)Greetings from Honduras
  11. Fenoxielo Junior Member

    United States
    United States - English
    Fill can be used in similar situations as described above for fill up, but never for fill in or fill out, which require the prepositions for their meaning. You can either fill a container or fill up a container. The "up" just emphasizes that you fill it completely, rather than only partially. You can't, however, *fill a form.
  12. Seikun

    Seikun Senior Member

    Chile - Castellano
    Thank you very much!

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