inflate air into / push air into


Senior Member
Chinese - Mandarin

My daughter said the water in the fishbowl lacked oxygen, it was difficult for the fish to breath, then she took a hand pump and put its head in the water. I asked her: "What are you doing there?" She answered:

1, I am inflating air into the water.
2, I am pushing air into the water.

I think both "inflate" and "push" are correct, but "inflate" is a little technical, "push" is informal.

Am I correct? Thank you.
  • Florentia52

    Modwoman in the attic
    English - United States
    I know little about fish tanks, but neither verb sounds correct to me. As an adult, I might say I was oxygenating the water; for a child, it would probably be best to say "I am putting air in the water."


    Senior Member
    USA English
    You cannot "inflate" air. You can only inflate some sort of container for the gas you are using. Neither air nor water is a container.

    I would use "aerate"


    aer·ate [air-eyt, ey-uh-reyt] Show IPA
    verb (used with object), aer·at·ed, aer·at· expose to the action or effect of air or to cause air to circulate through: to aerate milk in order toremove odors. change or treat with air or a gas, especially with carbon dioxide.

    3.Physiology . to expose (a medium or tissue) to air, as in the oxygenation of the blood in respiration.

    < Previous | Next >