'Press/ press down' instead of 'hold down' & 'wedge"

Discussion in 'English Only' started by Dear life, Sep 2, 2017.

  1. Dear life

    Dear life Senior Member

    India- Bengali
    Hold the paper down firmly on the table. It may blow away in the wind. If there's no paperweight, use your hands.

    Can we use 'press' anyway here in the place of 'hold down' like 'press the paper firmly on/ against table' or 'press the paper down on table' etc?
    Please help!

    Can 'press' be used instead of 'wedge into'?
    The kid wedged/ forced her legs into the box.
    The kid pressed her tiny...box.
    However, I guess it's odd.
  2. Egmont Senior Member

    Massachusetts, U.S.
    English - U.S.
    We wouldn't use "press" in the first instance because the emphasis is not on applying pressure, but on preventing the paper from blowing away. If we could prevent it from blowing it away by doing something else, we would. If we needed specifically to apply pressure, such as in the early stages of gluing two pieces of wood together, we would say "press."

    In the second case, the meaning of "press" is different. Wedging means that her legs went into a narrow space that was barely large enough for them. Pressing suggests that the space may have been tight in one direction but perhaps not in all directions.
  3. Hermione Golightly

    Hermione Golightly Senior Member

    British English
    You don't need to use 'press' here. 'Hold it down' is exactly right. Press implies a certain amount of strong pressure.

    Very odd!
  4. Dear life

    Dear life Senior Member

    India- Bengali
    Thanks a lot Egmont & HG :)
    By the way I couldn't grasp the following.
    How can we use 'press' here? Could you please give a full sentence?:confused:

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