Take the 2-minute tour ×
English Language & Usage Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts. It's 100% free, no registration required.

It seems they have same meaning but why are we using the phrasal verb? Or they have same meaning?

share|improve this question
3  
Could you please edit your question and re-format it appropriately? It's not easy to read it as it is now. –  Alenanno Aug 30 '11 at 16:57
add comment

1 Answer

up vote 1 down vote accepted

Heat up can be used, as heat too, to mean "make or become hot or warm"; heat up has also additional meanings, though:

  • [of a person] become excited or impassioned
  • become more intense and exciting
  • [archaic] inflame; excite

When you say "the action really begins to heat up," it doesn't mean the environment's temperature is getting higher.

share|improve this answer
    
In your last example, I think many if not most people would say the action "hots up", rather that "heats up". –  FumbleFingers Aug 30 '11 at 18:24
    
@Fumblefingers, if they do say that, I hope you slap them. –  Hellion Aug 30 '11 at 19:53
1  
@Hellion: Certainly not! People say what they say. Our primary job here is to ascertain what people actually do say and circulate that information as best we can, not tell them what they should have said. For what it's worth, Googling "pace heats up" gets 21K hits, against 30K hits for "pace hots up", so I think it's safe to say both usages are perfectly "standard". –  FumbleFingers Aug 30 '11 at 21:28
1  
Oh, the old descriptivism vs. prescriptivism quarrel! –  Otavio Macedo Aug 31 '11 at 2:10
1  
@kiamlaluno: I suspected it might be a Briticism, but couldn't see any easy way to establish that. To my ear, the pace heats up sounds decidedly odd, but I guess to Americans it actually sounds "correct", not just "tolerable". If nothing else, that shows how unwise it would be to follow Hellion's prescription and start telling people which version they should be using. –  FumbleFingers Aug 31 '11 at 14:19
show 2 more comments

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

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