3

If I wanted to translate "To fill a cup" and "To fill up a cup", are there in Latin 2 different words to translate "fill" and "fill up"?

To fill up = to fill totally.

  • Perhaps it would help if you could explain what, to you, the relevant difference between fill and fill up is. In general, I would say you could use the same Latin verb for both, but, depending on context, one compound verb or another may be more suitable. – Cerberus Oct 21 at 15:46
  • So, it doesn't seem there's a difference for you. If it's the case, I'll delete my question. Grammar books told me that "fill up" is to fill, but completely. – Quidam Oct 21 at 16:21
  • @Quidam, then you might want to add something in that line to the question. Some of us are not native English speakers. Can you fill something (up) to half its capacity? – Rafael Oct 21 at 16:39
  • 1
    I'm not neither, but I'll edit the question. I won't delete the question, as the answer is fantastic. – Quidam Oct 22 at 2:36
4

Grammatically speaking, there is a parallelism between Engl. {fill/fill up} and Lat. {plere/complere}, respectively. Typically, English particles and Latin prefixes can express similar meanings. In this case, we are dealing with so-called completive-intensive particle and prefix, respectively, which profile the resultant state and make it especially salient. It is important to point out that their similarity is due to the fact that these two languages belong to the set of so-called "satellite-framed languages" (for general remarks on the classification of Latin within this typological set, please see my answer to a previous question on Latin prefixes. For some useful references on this topic, please see my answer to the question on Latin as a satellite-framed language).

As for frequency of usage, there is an important difference to be pointed out with regard to the particular case you're interested in. English speakers seem to use the verb fill as frequently as fill up, whereas this is not the case in Latin since the prefixed verbs (complere, implere, etc.) are by far much more frequent than its non-prefixed variant (plere).

  • 1
    Very good answer! Thank you very much! – Quidam Oct 22 at 2:35

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.