Eat vs eat up

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Magmod

Banned
England English
What's the difference between the following?:
  1. Eat your hamburger
  2. Eat up your hamburger
Does eat up mean eat the whole of the hamburger?

Cheers :)
 
  • Matching Mole

    Senior Member
    England, English
    Yes, the "up" suggests completion. I think there is also a certain element of "get on with it", in other words stop messing about and get it eaten,perhaps with the suggestion that there are other things to do.
     

    Matching Mole

    Senior Member
    England, English
    Interesting. I couldn't find any usages of "eat up your [food item]" on US sites that weren't quoted from British sources. However, there seemed to be plenty of references to the sense of "diminish resources or materials", e.g. eat up your [computer] memory, profits, etc. This is a different usage of course. Both are used in the UK, and in reference to food, particularly when urging people to consume healthy food items, like "greens". "Eat up your greens, they're good for you!"
     

    JamesM

    Senior Member

    Magmod

    Banned
    England English
    :arrow: If an American says:
    • Eat up!
    without an object, what does s/he mean?

    :arrow: I take it to be understood in context probably referring to food and not to profits or memory ;)
     

    nichec

    Senior Member
    Chinese(Taiwan)/English(AE)
    :arrow: If an American says:
    • Eat up!
    without an object, what does s/he mean?

    :arrow: I take it to be understood in context probably referring to food and not to profits or memory ;)
    Mom: What are you doing? You haven't touched almost anything after half an hour!
    John: I'm not hungry, I don't feel like eating.
    Mom: Eat up!

    (Little John starts eating with tears in his eyes....:D)
     

    Magmod

    Banned
    England English
    Mom: What are you doing? You haven't touched almost anything after half an hour!
    John: I'm not hungry, I don't feel like eating.
    Mom: Eat up!

    (Little John starts eating with tears in his eyes....:D)
    :arrow: Does Mom mean:
    1. start eating,
    2. eat the whole lot, or
    3. eat it yourself?
    :arrow: Do you think that to eat up is a reflexive form of to eat :)
     

    tom_in_bahia

    Senior Member
    South Florida/Phoenix-Tucson/the Adirondacks. Native of North American English
    Well, it could be considered reflexive in translation...for example, Spanish: Él se comió todo (native Spanish speakers, correct me if I'm wrong) which would be: "He ate it all up (himself)" in English. I put the reflexive in parentheses, because it would be rather excessive in English.

    For a contrast, think of someone who might say: "Well, if you don't want it, I'll eat it myself."

    Also, I mentioned this when we were talking about aspects in the Slavic languages forum. I felt that in contrast from "to eat", "to eat up" gave the idea of thorough completion, especially in the past tense: D

    A: Did you eat the stew I left for you on the table?
    B: Yes, I did. It was delicious (not necessarily implying the whole stew, just a portion of it).

    Versus;

    A: Did you eat the stew I left for you on the table?
    B: Yes, I ate it up. It was delicious! (In this case the "up" implies* that there is no stew remaining on the table - maybe just a dirty pan!)

    *It could, however, imply that person B ate the stew quickly, as well as entirely.
     

    Magmod

    Banned
    England English
    Well, it could be considered reflexive in translation...for example, Spanish: Él se comió todo (native Spanish speakers, correct me if I'm wrong) which would be: "He ate it all up (himself)" in English. I put the reflexive in parentheses, because it would be rather excessive in English.

    For a contrast, think of someone who might say: "Well, if you don't want it, I'll eat it myself."

    Also, I mentioned this when we were talking about aspects in the Slavic languages forum. I felt that in contrast from "to eat", "to eat up" gave the idea of thorough completion, especially in the past tense: D

    A: Did you eat the stew I left for you on the table?
    B: Yes, I did. It was delicious (not necessarily implying the whole stew, just a portion of it).

    Versus;

    A: Did you eat the stew I left for you on the table?
    B: Yes, I ate it up. It was delicious! (In this case the "up" implies* that there is no stew remaining on the table - maybe just a dirty pan!)

    *It could, however, imply that person B ate the stew quickly, as well as entirely.
    Yes, you have hit the nail on the head Tom with your comparison to Spanish :thumbsup:
    • Eat up does mean consume completely, finish eating.
    :arrow: Like Spanish, English developed from Latin. However English got rid of difficult topics like reflexive, subjunctive, feminine & masculine, married names … and I’m sure you can finish the list.

    :arrow: Another example is the difference between:
    • to fall and to fall down.
    Again to fall down has the reflexive hidden in it which is again obvious in Spanish and maybe in other languages.
    • Caer to fall, Caerse = to fall down
    • Ir = to go, irse = to go away and other verbs of movement like comer/se :)
     
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