My dog is tearing/pulling/ripping my report to pieces.

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shorty1

Senior Member
Korean
Hello folks.

Source: I made this up.

My dog is tearing/pulling/ripping my report to pieces.

I looked the verbs up in the dictionary and made the above sentence up.

In this case, 'tearing', 'pulling' and 'ripping' all sounds natural to you?


Thank you so much for your help. :)
 
  • Sympathy

    Senior Member
    English (British)
    Yes, as Egmont says, "ripping" is forceful, vigorous tearing. But in recent years "rip" has become very common in the simple sense of "tear". Young people in the UK seem to say "rip" almost to the exclusion of "tear". It's impossible to say if this fashion will last or pass.
     

    shorty1

    Senior Member
    Korean
    Yes, as Egmont says, "ripping" is forceful, vigorous tearing. But in recent years "rip" has become very common in the simple sense of "tear". Young people in the UK seem to say "rip" almost to the exclusion of "tear". It's impossible to say if this fashion will last or pass.

    Thank you so much, Sympathy. :)

    You mean 'rip' can be used as slang in the UK as well?

    Can you take an example about this for me?
     

    Sympathy

    Senior Member
    English (British)
    Example: "I tore open the envelope" / "I ripped open the envelope".

    To me "I tore it open" just means I opened it with my fingers, without using a knife or paper-opener. "I ripped it open" means I tore it open with some force, and fast — in a hurry to get at the contents, or perhaps in annoyance.

    But young people in the UK would generally say "I ripped it open" for both. I wouldn't call this slang; it's just that young people are readier to adopt new uses of words. A similar example is saying "convince" instead of "persuade". I don't myself think these particular usages are improvements, for it is useful to have different words for different meanings. But like many language changes they may become quite standard — or they may go out of fashion and be forgotten.
     

    shorty1

    Senior Member
    Korean
    Example: "I tore open the envelope" / "I ripped open the envelope".

    To me "I tore it open" just means I opened it with my fingers, without using a knife or paper-opener. "I ripped it open" means I tore it open with some force, and fast — in a hurry to get at the contents, or perhaps in annoyance.

    But young people in the UK would generally say "I ripped it open" for both. I wouldn't call this slang; it's just that young people are readier to adopt new uses of words. A similar example is saying "convince" instead of "persuade". I don't myself think these particular usages are improvements, for it is useful to have different words for different meanings. But like many language changes they may become quite standard — or they may go out of fashion and be forgotten.

    Thank you so much for your time and explanation. :)

    I mistook 'fashion' for something related to clothes. :eek:

    Sorry.

    Now I understand. :thumbsup:
     
    Maybe this is an AE/BE difference, but I have a slight quibble here with usage: I can understand a dog tearing or ripping a report to pieces, but not pulling something to pieces. I think in most situations it would be "pulling my report apart." (And even that is a stretch since I don't associate pulling with shredding or ripping, although two dogs at both ends repeatedly tugging at both ends might slowly manage it. :D) shred/rip to pieces but pull apart.
     
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    Sympathy

    Senior Member
    English (British)
    I'm glad to say I agree with Dale Texas! No difference. I had commented only on the linguistic choice between tear and rip.

    Like Dale Texas I had a mental picture of two dogs. In practice, they would indeed pull the report apart rather than tear or rip the pages.

    Shredded paper is in small pieces. It makes good bedding for mice ...
     

    rhitagawr

    Senior Member
    British English
    To me, pull has the idea of stretching which tear and rip don't have - or at least not to the same extent. The two dogs pulled the rat apart could mean that they had a kind of tug-of-war. They tore the rat to bits could just mean that they bit pieces off it in a frenzy.
     
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