Do the laundry, do the washing and similar expressions.

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  • nmuscatine

    Senior Member
    English, USA
    "She needs to do the washing" might be BE... it sounds funny to me.

    My first choice would be, "She needs to do the laundry." This is what I say usually.

    "She needs to do the wash" is also good.
     

    jdenson

    Senior Member
    USA / English
    CatStar said:
    Hey,
    Possibly another BE/AE divide but you could also say she needs to put on a wash
    Cat
    To "do the washing" might be unknown in California, but it's common in Texas.
    I've never heard "to put on a wash", but I really like it.
     

    Pimothy

    Member
    English + Dutch, UK
    I'd use "she needs to do the/her laundry" or "she needs to put on a wash", but to me, "she needs to do the washing" doesn't sound right, I'd make it "she needs to do some washing".

    "She needs to do the/her laundry" is probably the safest bet, I'd say.
     

    nycphotography

    Senior Member
    American English
    CatStar said:
    Hey,
    Possibly another BE/AE divide but you could also say she needs to put on a wash
    Cat
    In AE, I would hear that as meaning she needs to wash her body!!!

    (which may not be a stretch if her clothes are dirty)
     

    nycphotography

    Senior Member
    American English
    jdenson said:
    In my experience, "to put on a wash" doesn't exist in AE.
    Exactly, but (in slang) to get my groove on does exist... causing me to hear: Stella needs to get her wash on.
     

    Ume

    Banned
    Japanese
    Hello.

    "I do the washing-up every morning, and I normally do some washing and ironing at the weekend. I hoover the carpets once a week."

    "do the washing-up"
    Do Americans say "do the laundry" instead?
     

    Luccent

    Member
    English and Welsh, Wales
    "the washing up" refers to dirty dishes and utensils that need to be cleaned up. "to do the washing up" means to clean those dishes in a sink.

    "do the laundry" means to wash (and usually dry and iron) dirty clothes. Laundry is an American term and is very rarely used in Britain. :)
     

    mimi2

    Senior Member
    vietnam vietnamese
    Is this sentence wrong because of the word 'up' and when I omit it, it becomes right, doesnt' it ?
    'She still does the washing up by hand because she is too poor to buy a washing machine.'
    Thanks
     
    mimi2 said:
    Is this sentence wrong because of the word 'up' and when I omit it, it becomes right, doesnt' it ?
    'She still does the washing up by hand because she is too poor to buy a washing machine.'
    Thanks
    Hi Mimi,

    You have the correct usage for ''washing up''. :tick:

    However, it is better to use ''dishwasher'' instead of ''washing maching''. A washing machine is used for washing clothes.


    LRV:)
     
    mimi2 said:
    Is this sentence wrong because of the word 'up' and when I omit it, it becomes right, doesnt' it ?
    'She still does the washing up by hand because she is too poor to buy a washing machine.'
    Thanks
    Oops Mimi,

    I misread your question.

    Yes, omit the word ''up'' and the sentence will be correct.

    She still does the washing by hand because she is too poor to buy a washing machine. :tick:

    Sorry about that Mimi.


    LRV
     

    Kelly B

    Senior Member
    USA English
    In the US, the word washing isn't used by itself with reference to clothing. I, too, would have guessed that the sentence referred to dishes.

    We'd say "she does the laundry by hand" or "she washes the clothes by hand" because she has no washing machine.

    While we're at it, we don't usually say "do the washing up" with reference to dishes, either. We just "do the dishes."
     

    SombraPenumbra

    Senior Member
    English, USA
    Kelly B said:
    In the US, the word washing isn't used by itself with reference to clothing. I, too, would have guessed that the sentence referred to dishes.

    We'd say "she does the laundry by hand" or "she washes the clothes by hand" because she has no washing machine.

    While we're at it, we don't usually say "do the washing up" with reference to dishes, either. We just "do the dishes."
    I've definitely heard and used "i'm washing my clothes right now" (or some variation of 'washing') and still imply that you're using a washing machine. Kelly is correct, though-- is is more common to say or write "I am doing laundry."

    "Washing up" specifically refers to cleaning onesself, as in washing one's hands or face. If you want to refer to dishes or another object (kitchen table, etc) you would probably say "i am cleaning the kitchen" or "she is washing the dishes."
     

    Joelline

    Senior Member
    American English
    I would use "do laundry" only in certain contexts:
    It's a chore to do laundry every week.
    I hate doing laundry when I'm on vacation.

    Otherwise, I would use "the" or a possessive adjective:
    He has to do his laundry.
    I need to do the laundry soon!

    Hope this helps,
    Joelline
     

    maxiogee

    Banned
    English
    So, does it mean that "laudry" is an old-fashioned word, no longer in use?
    No, but one doesn't do "laundry" in one's own home.
    In Ireland at least, and I think also in England, "a laundry" is a business which takes in washing (usually large volumes, or special-care items such as expensive and/or ornate table-cloths etc.) for cleaning. The items are returned washed, ironed and folded.

    The advent of cheap, domestic, washing machines in the 1960s made many laundries defunct, and cheap 'dry-clean only' clothes did more damage to them.
     

    brhadashva

    New Member
    English, USA
    I do the laundry (at home). If I did laundry (without the "the" article), I'd be doing it for a living, which is not my current aspiration.
     

    Old Novice

    Senior Member
    USA, English
    I do the laundry (at home). If I did laundry (without the "the" article), I'd be doing it for a living, which is not my current aspiration.
    Sorry, but this distinction is not universal by any means. :) In my little corner of the U.S., it is as common to say "I have to do laundry" as "I have to do the laundry," all within the confines of a home.
     

    Joelline

    Senior Member
    American English
    In response to the comments of Panjandrum and Maxiogee: Could we have some female BE speakers to tell us what those who actually put clothes in the washing machine and dryer (at home) to tell us what THEY call this chore? ;)

    Thanks,
    Joelline
     

    panjandrum

    Lapsed Moderator
    English-Ireland (top end)
    The washing fairy will, from time to time, ask someone else to put on the washing or put on a wash for her. Like Tony, I associate laundry with the business down the road that sends a green van round once a week to take away the laundry and leave a brown paper and string parcel of bed linen.
     

    bat777

    Senior Member
    Israel, Hebrew
    I'm looking for the right expressions in English for the activities that you do with laundry.
    Do you wash the laundry? Do the laundry?
    Do you hang the laundry? (It sounds to me like an execution...)
    Is there a word to describe the folding and putting in place of the clean laundry?

    Thanks in advance!
     
    I'm looking for the right expressions in English for the activities that you do with laundry.
    Do you wash the laundry? Do the laundry?
    Do you hang the laundry? (It sounds to me like an execution...)
    Is there a word to describe the folding and putting in place of the clean laundry?

    Thanks in advance!
    Hi bat777,

    We say "do the laundry", or "do the washing", in the UK.

    When it's all done we simply say, "I'm putting the clean washing away."
    (Well, I do.:) )

    LRV
     

    Luchie

    Member
    England, English
    The basket you put the laundry in, both dirty or clean is called The Laundry basket. I would hang up the washing after "doing" it. :)
     

    Nunty

    Senior Member
    Hebrew-US English (bilingual)
    If I remember correctly, we "did the laundry" when I was in the US, but we put it in "the dryer", rather than hanging it up. If I were to hang it, I think I would hang out the laundry, rather than hanging it up. When it was all dry and folded, I would put away the clean clothes. Oh, and the first step was "sorting the laundry".

    Funny. The "laundry" becomes "clothes" once it's clean.
     

    Luchie

    Member
    England, English
    He he! and funny how dirty clothes become washing when they are put together.
    I hang up my washing because i live in an appartment where there is not posibility to hang it out, but you are right I remember my Mum hanging out the washing on the washing line(outside) but also putting it on the clothes horse to dry inside in the winter:)
     

    elroy

    Imperfect Mod
    US English, Palestinian Arabic bilingual
    [...] but you are right I remember my Mum hanging out the washing on the washing line(outside) but also putting it on the clothes horse to dry inside in the winter:)
    Those must be British-English terms for clothesline and drying rack. :)
     

    Luchie

    Member
    England, English
    Those must be British-English terms for clothesline and drying rack. :)
    Yes they are, a clothes horse can be made of wood or metal covered in a plastic coating.

    I have of course heard the phrase clothesline, but we always called it the washing line, it could be a class thing or a regional thing, im not sure.


    :)
     

    Luchie

    Member
    England, English
    No I don't think so, I am English and brought up in England :)
    It is English English as apposed to American English :)
     

    panjandrum

    Lapsed Moderator
    English-Ireland (top end)
    ... I remember my Mum hanging out the washing on the washing line(outside) but also putting it on the clothes horse to dry inside in the winter:)
    Those must be British-English terms for clothesline and drying rack. :)
    What do Americans call "washing line" and "clothes horse"?
    See above.
    What is a clothes horse?
    A clothes horse (BE) is a drying rack (AE).
    It is a structure made of wood or other material over which clothes can be hung to dry.
    It is normally used inside the house on cold or wet days when clothes would not dry outside.

    CLICK HERE for a traditional clothes horse. HERE is a modern version ... or HERE.
     
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