Carve Vs Engrave?

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sambistapt

Senior Member
Brazilian Portuguese
Hello amigos!:)

I´ve carved/engraved your name ( Anna) on a piece of wood.
I´ve carved/engraved your name on our engagement ring.

Which one works better in these situations? Is there a subtle difference between them?

Thanks,

Sam:cool:
 
  • Boston Dude

    Banned
    English of USA
    I think that carved would be more of a wider meaning. Whereas engraved would be a little more specific.

    I carved a face in a pumpkin. We really wouldn't say I engraved a face in the pumpkin.
     

    panjandrum

    Lapsed Moderator
    English-Ireland (top end)
    Engraving is to inscribe/create a pattern on a surface.
    Carving is to create a three-dimensional something-or-other from a solid.
    panj
    (wood-carver)
     

    Eigenfunction

    Senior Member
    England - English
    Hello amigos!:)

    I´ve carved/engraved your name ( Anna) on a piece of wood.
    I´ve engraved your name on our engagement ring.
    You don't carve metal. You can do either with wood, though carve is more normal. Also, you can carve any shape you want, but you generally engrave on a flat surface.

    Edit: Eigenfunction, also a wood-carver!
     

    Packard

    Senior Member
    USA, English
    Hello amigos!:)

    I´ve carved/engraved your name ( Anna) on a piece of wood.
    I´ve carved/engraved your name on our engagement ring.

    Which one works better in these situations? Is there a subtle difference between them?

    Thanks,

    Sam:cool:
    I believe that "on" is the wrong preposition for "engrave".

    I believe that you engrave in, or carve into a piece of wood.

    You can carve in bas relief, that is remove enough of the flat stock to create a carving in three dimensions.

    You engrave in (or into) flat surface or upon a curved or spherical one.

    Gravestones will often be engraved with words, but have a carving of a figure upon the top or in bas relief.
     

    panjandrum

    Lapsed Moderator
    English-Ireland (top end)
    "Engrave on" is OK.
    Many of the examples given in the OED use on, some use in.
    Looking for some kind of pattern, if the engraving is on a particular article, it is likely to be engraved on (eg, a ring). If it is in a particular material it is likely to be engraved in (eg, copper).
    One particular example, my heart, seems to be consistently engraved in.

    (Gravestones or grave-stones)
     

    Eigenfunction

    Senior Member
    England - English
    engraved in might also give the impression that the design is cut deeper into the surface whereas engraved on suggests fairly shallow engraving.
     
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