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Anonymous:
I have always been puzzled and confused of these two phrases: "Fill-up" and "Fill-out". Whenever I go to the Professional Regulations Commission (PRC), I am always instructed to FILL-UP the forms. It even has a big instructions posted on the wall stating to FILL-UP the forms completely. I even hear professionals use the phrase. I always see such also in many of the forms from both private and public entities. But, a teacher of mine told me to use FILL-OUT instead. Why should the preposition be changed?
You mean fill in, not fill up.
Full Member336
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Thanks for the comment anyway, but do you mean I should fill in the form?
New Member06
Hi,

Actually, it's a slightly odd case where you can fill out a form, or fill it in. Both are OK. But you can't say to someone 'Please fill up this form', it's just wrong.

Best wishes, Clive
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Clive,

What do you mean by the following?

Actually, it's a slightly odd case where you can fill out a form, or fill it in.

Are you saying they are odd to say?

I don't understand why "fill up the form" is wrong. I think I hear it every day. What would you say naturally?
Veteran Member7,658
Well, native English speakers would never say 'fill up' a form. It may have become a local variant perhaps, if you hear it a lot, or it could be something that people bring in as a direct translation from their native language without considering that the preposition may be different in English.

In mainstream English either 'fill out' or 'fill in'
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New2grammar Actually, it's a slightly odd case where you can fill out a form, or fill it in.Are you saying they are odd to say?
No, Clive said they were both OK.
Clive... it's a slightly odd case where you can fill out a form, or fill it in. Both are OK ...
As for me, I've always used "to fill in a form", because that's what I usually heard. After reading this thread, I checked "to fill out (<=> sth)" and I've learnt another phrasal verb.
Emotion: smile

EDIT: Sorry Nona, I started replying before your post appeared. I'm really a slow typer. Emotion: sad
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Thanks Nona! Does it soudn weird to you because fill UP is usually associated with containers? For example, fill up the bucket, fill up your glass, fill up your tank/car. I would like to know how native speakers interpret the preposition 'in' in this phrasal verb. Thanks in advanve

Edit

Tanit, thanks

My question to you: .Clive said something about 'odd case' and I can't relate that to the rest of his sentence. To me, odd is negative but later he said, both are OK! I detect contradiction Emotion: sad

I have no problem with Fill in and that's what i hear and use a lot of times. I think I must have misheard out for up. A short sound like this is easily mistaken by me especially the speaker is talking like a bullet train.

Also, fill OUT has a sense of thoroughness that fill IN doesn't have. Am I right?
Clives comment = It is odd that there are two possibilities here (and it's really odd because the two words are opposite to each other: in and out).

Fill up - yes this is usually associated with a container of some sort.

I'm not sure how exactly I interpret the 'in'. I suppose because I am putting information in specified places? But don't then ask me to explain 'out'. No idea on that one.
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