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Clean it up! Open it up! Close it up!

English translation: [below]

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17:56 Aug 5, 2006
English to English translations [PRO]
Art/Literary - General / Conversation / Greetings / Letters
English term or phrase: Clean it up! Open it up! Close it up!
En verbos frasales la preposicion "Up" aporta un significado diferente al verbo raiz. Turn up, fill up, cut up etc, y por ende su uso es obligatorio.

No obstante y para citar solo los tres verbos que pregunto, en ocasiones se lee, oye: Clean it! Open it! Close it!

Mis dudas son las siguientes:
La adición de "up" aporta algo diferente al significado normal o es simplemente un estilo, un dejo, o algo que desconozca?.
Su significado es diferente particularmente con estos tres verbos? Agradecería el desglose especifico por verbo.
Hay algun enlace que trate especificamente el uso de "up en estos casos?


Sus respuestas serán muy apreciadas y disculpen mi petición.

NOTA: Esta pregunta la hice previamente hace un momento pero por aportar una nota la cerré por error. Lo siento con los que ya habian dado sus sugerencias pero en aras del conocimiento me veo obligado a volverla a colocar.
Jairo Payan
Colombia
Local time: 05:07
English translation:[below]
Explanation:
The question you ask is complicated.

In many situation, the two versions of the phrase have the exact same meaning. In others, only one is possible.

For example, "open it up" would not normally be used with regard to opening a door, but either "open it" or "open it up" could be used with regard to a letter, package or box.

Either "clean it" or "clean it up" could be used in a situation referring to the literal cleaning of an object or an area, although the latter would be more common. However "clean it up" is often used in a metaphorical sense of fixing or correcting some problem that exists: In such instances, "clean it" would never be used.

As for "close it/close it up" I can off the top of my head think of no instance where the one phrase would be obligatory and the other impossible. In most instances, "close it" would be the more frequently heard of the two.

Suerte.
Selected response from:

Robert Forstag
United States
Local time: 06:07
Grading comment
Thanks a million to everybody. I learned a lot!
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer

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Summary of answers provided
4 +5[below]Robert Forstag
5 +1(ver)
vanesa medina
4 +1phrasal verbs, perfective and imperfective verbs, and transitive/intransitive verbs
Anton Baer
3 +2Another comment
Armorel Young
5limpialo, abrelo, cierraloAngie Hayes
3semantics of "up" - nfg
Jeffrey Lewis


Discussion entries: 5





  

Answers


3 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5 peer agreement (net): +1
clean it up! open it up! close it up!
(ver)


Explanation:
Tiene que ver con la idea de complitud, totalidad. En el ejemplo que diste vos, seria "abrilo todo", o "limpialo todo"


--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 5 mins (2006-08-05 18:02:02 GMT)
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acá te ve una ref

http://forum.wordreference.com/showthread.php?t=16621

vanesa medina
Local time: 07:07
Specializes in field
Native speaker of: Native in SpanishSpanish

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Refugio: Y cierralo del todo
4 mins
  -> Gracias, Ruth! concuerdo contigo

neutral  Robert Forstag: This really is not generally true. Please see my reply.
10 mins
  -> ok, knowlegde is always welcome!

neutral  Mara Ballarini: Yes, 'up' gives in general the idea of completeness, but it's not always so simple..
16 hrs
  -> ok, Mara
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8 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +5
clean it up! open it up! close it up!
[below]


Explanation:
The question you ask is complicated.

In many situation, the two versions of the phrase have the exact same meaning. In others, only one is possible.

For example, "open it up" would not normally be used with regard to opening a door, but either "open it" or "open it up" could be used with regard to a letter, package or box.

Either "clean it" or "clean it up" could be used in a situation referring to the literal cleaning of an object or an area, although the latter would be more common. However "clean it up" is often used in a metaphorical sense of fixing or correcting some problem that exists: In such instances, "clean it" would never be used.

As for "close it/close it up" I can off the top of my head think of no instance where the one phrase would be obligatory and the other impossible. In most instances, "close it" would be the more frequently heard of the two.

Suerte.

Robert Forstag
United States
Local time: 06:07
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 32
Grading comment
Thanks a million to everybody. I learned a lot!

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  David Knowles: Close is of course symmetrical with Open. There's also the question of "open up" in a more figurative sense: He opened up the Amazon. He opened up the question of the rights of women. Not sure what the question is really asking, since it's in Spanish!
24 mins
  -> Thanks, David. The question had to do with the difference between "clean it"/"clean it up", "open it"/"open it up", etc. The other answerer claimed that the version with "up" indicated a "completeness" of action. Thank you, David.

agree  Yavor Dimitrov: Although becoming very common, "up" is absolutely meaningless in "open it up" and "clean it up"in their literal meaning.
33 mins
  -> Thank you, Tangra.

agree  Roxanna Delgado
2 hrs
  -> Thank you, Roxanna.

agree  Maria Eugenia Farre: Very interesting, so would you say Robert that this is usage-dependant?
5 hrs
  -> Hmm. What does "usage-dependant" mean? Muito obrigado, Maria. :)

agree  Laura_Fazio
9 hrs
  -> Thank you, Laura.
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48 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5 peer agreement (net): +2
clean it up! open it up! close it up!
Another comment


Explanation:
The addition of "up" to "clean it" can make the phrase have a different meaning. Usually "clean it" refers to the thing being cleaned, but "clean it up" refers to the mess or dirt being removed. So if some milk is spilt on the floor, one would "clean" the floor, but "clean up" the milk - and use the corresponding imperative forms. (The distinction isn't hard and fast, of course, because you can "clean" or "clean up" a room.)

Armorel Young
Local time: 11:07
Specializes in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 76

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Zhuoqi Mills
2 hrs

agree  Laura_Fazio
9 hrs
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4 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5
clean it up! open it up! close it up!
limpialo, abrelo, cierralo


Explanation:
simple. Not a whole bunch to it. When an "it" is added to a verb in english, you normally add a "lo" to the verb in spanish.

Angie Hayes
Local time: 05:07
Specializes in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish, Native in SpanishSpanish
Notes to answerer
Asker: The use of "it" is not the issue in this case, but the use of the preposition "up"

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10 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +1
clean it up! open it up! close it up!
phrasal verbs, perfective and imperfective verbs, and transitive/intransitive verbs


Explanation:
Study these verb forms and you will be much aided!

As you already know, a phrasal verb is a regular verb with a preposition; it exists as a verb in its own right: 'to put up with' = to tolerate, 'to put down' = to denigrate (and not to 'set down' (a bottle for example).)

A perfective verb: to drink up = to finish drinking the contents of a glass or bottle; to sit down = to take a seat; contrast with 'I sat for three hours' or 'I was sitting for three hours'..

As Tangra suggests, some usages are apparently 'meaningless', as in the US Army when a sergeant bellows : 'Listen up!' However, these usages may have evolved from the need to furnish a transitive verb with an object. 'To hit', for example, is a transitive verb -- it needs an object. ('Hit the ball.') This may be why you say: 'I hit up Peter for a loan'; because you can't say 'I hit Peter for a loan.' With 'listen up', the sergeant is saying 'Listen to what I am about to tell you', and not 'Listen to the birds...' But because the military is an impersonal institution, he may resist saying 'Listen to me'... More heavily weighted though is the use of 'up' as code for: 'Listen well; I have a definite message to impart (and not endless birdsong...)'

'to clean up' doesn't always mean to make something clean in the sense of not dirty; you clean up a messy room, which is just messy, not dirty. As a phrasal verb it can mean to defeat an opponent at a game or a sport. The important thing is that it's a perfective phrasal verb. The action is to be completed. If a parent says 'clean your room' the child may understand that s/he is to begin cleaning, but not really have to finish. Which is why so many parents say CLEAN IT UP!

'To open up' can mean to reveal something hidden inside oneself, but also has a perfective meaning -- to open a tin can that cannot again be closed, or a sealed treasure chest. Contrast with 'to open a bottle' (an imperfective action that can repeated as long as you preserve the bottletop.)

'to close it up' can mean to seal it; not merely 'close the suitcase' (and in two hours re-open it.) Close it up would mean closing it for a much longer time, if not permanently... Again, a 'perfective' meaning..

Written in relative haste... There may be omissions or inadequacies...


Anton Baer
Slovakia
Local time: 12:07
Works in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 12

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Mara Ballarini: I think,generally speaking,as I commented to Paom., 'up' gives the idea of completeness (when added 2 form a phr v.),but of course it's not always so simple;every case is different, according 2 the verb & the context.find yr explanation clear 4these cases
5 hrs
  -> You put it succinctly for sure. The sturdy Saxon trunk of English has so many linguistic roots and creeper vines that many of the 'rules' have grown equally intertwined... Jeffrey will note the verticality in this!
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11 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5
clean it up! open it up! close it up!
semantics of "up" - nfg


Explanation:
I'm giving this answer in English for the sake of precision, but I might be able to answer a further query in Spanish.

I am interpreting the question in this sense: the asker has identified three verbs for which the addition of "up" seems to make no appreciable difference. The question, in effect, is: is there a rule for this? Is "up" like a stem, which adds some essentially similar element to any verb it gets attached to?

Other answers have pointed out cases in which there is a difference ("clean" vs. "clean up"). As for the other verbs cited: turn it! and cut it! certainly have proper acceptations without "up", although "fill it" seems to me to be in a similar case with clean/clean up, open/open up, etc.

Students of English are often instructed to pay attention to the many verbs that take on a particular meaning according to the preposition with which they happen to be coupled.

This often takes the form of ringing the changes with regard to a particular verb, like turn: turn up (reveal) turn over (from one side to the other) turn around (make change direction) turn down (refuse) turn to (consult) turn out (show up) turn back (reverse course), etc. Obviously, not every preposition produces a separate meaning or sense, but enough of them do that this is considered a useful teaching tool.

As Jespersen noted, the substitutes above often involve a more precise verb, that is expressed as a single word without attached preposition, e.g., turn down/refuse. But we also see that "turn down" refers to a historical gesture (turn thumbs down) that equals refusal. It's also frequently the case that the composite verb, involving Anglo-Saxon roots, can be substituted for by a single-word verb that has Romance origins. This also occurs with nouns, adjectives, and adverbs. The classic example is "pretty" vs. "beautiful".

"up" might be described, tongue in cheek, as the vertical preposition. We point up (upward). However, "up" has other connotations. We say, for example, "Time is up." (some set period of time has expired, or it is now necessary to act, etc.). So there is a connotation of completeness. "The jig is up!" = it is useless to flee, or, the deception is exposed. This connotation of completeness is related to one of haste or speed: "Finish up!" The phrase "Turn it up" (referenced by asker) adds a connotation of intensification or increase. The phrase "up close" adds a connotation of proximity. Both connotations are found in numerous phrases.

I am now looking at this page, http://www.answers.com/up&r=67
which gives a pretty large lexicographical selection - not an OED entry, but it will do.

1. Direction (look up) - verticality (but also the sense of "coming into view or existence"; we look up a number or word)
2. Upright position: sit up, stand up (verticality plus movement)
3. above a surface (come up), the ground (pull up = uproot, lift), the horizon (the sun comes up, is up) - still verticality plus movement, i.e., rising, lifting, climbing
4. "draw up" is given as an example of "coming into view or existence", as in "draw up a will", but this is really "draw" (i.e., draft, write) as in "legal draftsman", plus completeness.
5. "take up" is glossed as "into consideration" (take up the topic), but "take up" really connotes verticality (the motion on the table was taken up/picked up (parliamentary procedure); the plants take up nitrogen (absorption); the elevator takes us up. "Take up a hobby" actually connotes completeness. A retiree takes up a hobby to fill up his leisure hours; students used to "take up (various) studies" but this is becoming rare.
6. Moving higher, in some sense; "temperature going up" - verticality.
7. "Stocks and bonds are up" - verticality.
8. "Our spirits went up" - intensification, but really also verticality, in the sense that "up" is a metaphor for "better" or "more"
9. "Turn it (the sound volume) up" - intensification/increase, but verticality if the sound control is in-line
10. "stir up" - still intensification
11. "drink up", "fasten up" (and "clean up") - completeness
12. "typed up" - given as intensification, but this should be completeness - unless the connotation of haste or speed is intended ("Type this up right now.")
13. "came up and kissed me" - this is really a form of verticality that takes one's personal space as the center, instead of gravity: consider "up in my face" and "up close". Nonetheless - we do say "back up"!
14. "pulled up to the station" - this is glossed as "to a stop" but the essence is still completeness, or something fairly closely related, exactness ("pulled right up to the dock")
15. A tie score ("Seven up" = 7-7); but this comes from "knotted up" and connotes completeness in the sense of involvement; the two teams are completely even.
16. "tear up" = tear to pieces. There's also "blow up" and "break up" - with perhaps a smidgen of verticality! But this is completeness by metonymy. That which is torn up is (negatively) completed.
17. Upwind, upstream - as with "up close", the connotation is still verticality, but in a restricted environment. In nature, "up" involves effort. We climb up a mountain. With a human body, "up" is verticality; with personal space (my face), "up' is toward the center. "Her hands went up my body"; up towards my head or face.

Verticality; completeness or exactness; intensification or increase; haste or speed. I think it was Arthur Danto who pioneered the examination of "basic actions", that is, simple verbs from which more complex verbs can be constructed. "Make do" is "command". "Make see" is "show". "Make think" is "convince", and so on. This is like Jespersen's intuition. The lexicographical categories I reviewed were picked up more or less at random and arranged in a very rough order of importance. The OED doubtless does a better job. But the fact that I was able to boil them down quite a bit shows that in fact there is a sort of essence of "up". Verticality, in effect, refers in some sense to the limit of the world - thus it is not opposed to completeness. Even intensification and increase involve the drawing of a line, the indication of a level or limit; completeness.
The ideas of a space, a space of time, or proximity all involve some limit or boundary, and thus again completeness. Russell once suggested that everything in existence could be derived, if the series of the natural numbers was given; the same thing might be said with reference to Aristotle's ten categories, including "motus", movement.

But all this is as far as structural linguistics can take us. The sense of almost every interesting phrase has to do with historical linguistics, and we may lay down as a principle that while the history of a phrase cannot contradict the reasoned essence of a "basic meaning or action", within those boundaries we can "get up" to an infinite number of things and meanings.

For example: "The jig is up!". Web-based forums correctly report that this means flight is useless, a deception has been exposed (as we noted above). But why does Sherlock Holmes use this phrase? Does it really mean that the music (gigue) is over? Or does it not rather mean that the small boat (gig) used for ferrying sailors from ship to shore and back is about to leave (and therefore haste is needed because one's shore leave is complete)?
http://www.royalnavy.mod.uk/server/show/ConWebDoc.6027

Let's examine the semantics of "clean up", "open up", and "close up".

"clean up": The action of cleaning may involve verticality if the dirt is on the floor: "Clean all that stuff up/Pick all that stuff up". But these examples, while similar, have nuances: We cleaned up (we made a lot of money; we completed the party or work shift by straightening up after it); batting fourth in the order in baseball = (we got all the money we could get and more; we completed our tasks; the fourth batter is supposed to drive in the first three, if they get on base, thus cleaning the bases or base paths)

So the element of completeness predominates. However, the element of improvement is involved: "You clean up good" (You can look presentable if you try). "A tough cleanup job" shows that "up" has something like an element of verticality as effort. The effort needed to go upwind or upstream is needed to clean up or straighten up something that is dirty or in disorder. "Cleaning up" in the sense of making an unexpectedly large amount of money or points involves the idea of increase - but I think the origin of this phrase is related to the action of taking all the money off a table after winning a poker hand that "cleans out" all the other players.

"Open up" - We open up a store (grand opening). We open up a field of inquiry (pioneer, or just make progress), or a territory (this origin grounds the previous metaphor).

If I go to see a house for rent, I ask the realtor: is it open? Meaning: is the door locked? If it is, then someone might have to open it up for me. The police say "Open up!", and we also suggest that someone open up a can of food. In each case, the element of effort is added to the action "to open". The door has been closed or locked, maybe, for a long time. The person the police are looking for may not want to come out! And the can takes some effort to open - as witness this exchange: "Open me up a bottle of beer." - "You just twist it off." In other words, the effort is not needed - and neither, then, is "up".

As for "close up", the same thing operates in reverse. The surgeon "closes up" the wound - which was gaping. We "close up" the store - and this involves much more than locking the door! I interrogate someone, but they "close up" (or clam up), despite the difficulty of remaining silent under questioning.

Someone who has waded through all this might well be fed up (= overfed > completeness). But it really is quite interesting for some folks to see how the structure of language is always up for providing support to different intentional meanings that arise in history ("up for" = front of the line, first in an order, general readiness: specific verticality, completed waiting, exact position, completed preparation). If you do throw up (verticality, completion of feelings of nausea) please clean up (completeness) after yourself.

"up" even contains a layer of mystery. "U.P. up." What does it mean? I went through all the cribs for ULYSSES at one time and couldn't find this one - or the man in the mac, for that matter. I'll leave this one up to you.

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Note added at 11 hrs (2006-08-06 05:38:05 GMT)
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I can add a little to Heinrich B's rich exposition, that has just come up (ranked ordering, specific verticality) on my screen:

"Listen up" is a concise way of saying "Form ranks and pay attention" - but it is also a substitute for "Shut up!", which D.I.'s are not supposed to say anymore (much less scoutmasters). It involves completeness as summation - and a time boundary (at-ease time is over). There may also be a prosodic carryover from "Ten-hut!" ("hut", a corruption of "-tion", sounds like "up").

"Hit up" (for a loan) is no more than about 40 or 50 years old. It is a bit like "hit on" (flirt with), but just reflects the "get"-like expansion of "hit", which can refer to any kind of contact or communication. "I can hit my old man for 50 dollars" refers to borrowing. In fact, "hit up" is a sort of euphemism, in the sense that I do not want to admit to myself that I am begging or borrowing. (However, you can say "he hit me for a loan". "Hit me up" might be more common now, but it is the derived form.)



Jeffrey Lewis
United States
Local time: 05:07
Specializes in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 4
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Aug 5, 2006 - Changes made by Robert Forstag:
Language pairEnglish to Spanish » English


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