Heat water up / Heat up water

Dorpje

Member
Spanish Spain
Hi everyone,

I'm not sure which of the following sentences sounds more idiomatic (and correct)

- Jim heats up some water for tea
- Jim heats some water up for tea
- Jim boils some water for tea

Or is there a better option?
Is 'heat up' only for food or also for water/tea?

Thanks a lot
 
  • Dorpje

    Member
    Spanish Spain
    Hi Syd,

    I'm just not sure how it is said in English.
    What I'm trying to find out is which verb English speakers would use to refer to that specific action (heating up water/heating water up/boiling water/ warming up water for tea).

    I'm in the living room, my wife in the kitchen, and I ask her 'can you please heat up some water? I'd like to have some tea as soon as I'm done with this (for instance)
    I know that you would probably just say 'Can you please make some tea?'. But what if you saw a picture of someone with a pot of water on a stove and the burner is on and you had to describe it?

    I hope I'm not confusing you

    Thanks
     

    SydLexia

    Senior Member
    UK English
    You can obviously boil water in a pan if necessary but what you'd normally say is "Could you put the kettle on?"

    The fact is that kettles are so basic to living in the UK that it's difficult to imagine what you'd say if you didn't have one. I think that it would be roughly the same as in Spain,

    "Could you put some water on (for me)(, please)?" and "¿Me pones agua (para un té)?".

    Does that fit with your experience?

    (I'd say that "Stick the kettle on(, would you)?" is probably one of the commonest phrases in BrE - along with "What the hell's happened to summer?" :( )

    syd
     

    004

    Senior Member
    Spanish
    Hi everyone,

    I'm not sure which of the following sentences sounds more idiomatic (and correct)

    - Jim heats up some water for tea
    - Jim heats some water up for tea
    - Jim boils some water for tea

    Or is there a better option?
    Is 'heat up' only for food or also for water/tea?

    Thanks a lot
    Hi, It's a good question. I also would like get answer to it.
     

    gengo

    Senior Member
    American English
    - Jim heats up some water for tea
    - Jim heats some water up for tea
    - Jim boils some water for tea

    In my AmEn, all three are correct and sound natural.

    Whether to keep a phrasal verb intact or split it is something that cannot be explained by simple rules. It's more a question of style and intuition. Sometimes both ways sound fine (as above), but sometimes one way sounds odd. Also, as a general rule, you shouldn't split a phrasal verb if the text between the verb and the preposition is long.
     

    auxilio!

    Senior Member
    English - Australia
    You can obviously boil water in a pan if necessary but what you'd normally say is "Could you put the kettle on?"

    The fact is that kettles are so basic to living in the UK that it's difficult to imagine what you'd say if you didn't have one. I think that it would be roughly the same as in Spain,

    "Could you put some water on (for me)(, please)?" and "¿Me pones agua (para un té)?".

    Does that fit with your experience?

    (I'd say that "Stick the kettle on(, would you)?" is probably one of the commonest phrases in BrE - along with "What the hell's happened to summer?" :( )

    syd
    Yes, "Put the kettle on... [for a cup of tea]." Acá, en la casa de mis padres, decian "jug" en vez de kettle.
     
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