"Pour (energy) <vs> "expend (energy)"

panzerfaust0

Senior Member
mandarin
Hello. I encountered this word, "pour" in connection with the word "energy". I know that we typically say, "expend energy" when we want to say that we are using energy to do something. I am just wondering if there are any differences. I personally feel that "pour" implies that one is not just using energy, he/she is using A LOT of energy. Am I correct?

Context 1: Jennifer cannot see why one would expend time and effort on dealing with hangups about sex. She feels that it is better off putting the time into her job, securing her future, painting the house...etc. It is safe to say that sex is the last thing on her mind.

Context 2: Most of John's energies are poured into higher learning, foreign concepts and dreaming about travelling to far away lands.

Please tell me whether I am correct. If not, please educate me as to how these two words are used differently. Thanks.
 
  • sound shift

    Senior Member
    English - England
    "Expend energy on + noun" sounds normal to me.
    "Pour energy on + noun" does not sound normal to me.
    Therefore I could not change Context 1) to "Jennifer cannot see why one would pour time and effort on dealing with hangups about sex.":cross:
     

    Edinburgher

    Senior Member
    German/English bilingual
    "Pour energy on + noun" does not sound normal to me.
    That's why in context 2 it is "pour energy into + noun", and if you change context 1 to use pour, you also have to change on to into.

    There is a difference. When you say "expend" this is pretty neutral. With "pour" there is an implication that there is an element of waste, i.e. that too much energy is being expended.
     

    Linkway

    Senior Member
    British English
    That's why in context 2 it is "pour energy into + noun", and if you change context 1 to use pour, you also have to change on to into.

    There is a difference. When you say "expend" this is pretty neutral. With "pour" there is an implication that there is an element of waste, i.e. that too much energy is being expended.

    Interesting point! For me, if we say someone poured energy into something, it is really talking about effort rather than any scientific measurement such as the number of Joules expended.
     

    Edinburgher

    Senior Member
    German/English bilingual
    it is really talking about effort rather than (actual energy)
    Quite so. Perhaps whereas (scientific) energy is measured in Joules, effort should be measured in Pearls.
    When you pour too much effort into something, this is a bit like casting pearls before swine.
     
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