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Hi,

I’m not entirely clear on the difference between ‘submerge’ and ‘immerse’ yourself or something in a liquid.

I’d say that when I’m talking about food, I should probably use ‘immerse.’

“You have to immerse the meat in whisked eggs before you cover it with breadcrumbs.”

However, when I’m entering water, I honestly have no idea which one fits better.

“Once you submerge/immerse yourself in the cold water, you shouldn’t immediately go up or you’ll feel cold again.”

Thank you.

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Submerge means that you are entirely under water. (Deep, long period of time, like a submarine.)

In "immerse" you head and shoulders may be above the surface. (Shallow, short period of time.)

Comments  
Ann225I’m not entirely clear on the difference between ‘submerge’ and ‘immerse’ yourself or something in a liquid.

They are pretty much synonymous, but usage is everything. "Submerge" definitely means "entirely below the suface", and the focus is on that. "Immerse" leans more toward doing it to something, and although it ordinarily mean the same as "submerge", there is some wiggle room for leaving parts above water. "Submerge" is ordinarily intransitive, and "immerse", transitive, but they go both ways.

A submarine submerges. It does not immerse. You are warned not to immerse your coffeemaker when cleaning it, but you are not warned not to submerge it. Figuratively, you can immerse yourself in a book, but you can't submerge in it.