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I encountered both expressions but I am not sure which is correct.

Should I use "fill an appeal" or "file an appeal"?

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closed as general reference by coleopterist, Robusto, tchrist, simchona Sep 25 '12 at 16:48

This question is too basic; it can be definitively and permanently answered by a single link to a standard internet reference source designed specifically to find that type of information.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

Neither is an idiom. What does your dictionary tell you? – coleopterist Sep 25 '12 at 12:34
@coleopterist: file an appeal is standard terminology, where file effectively means place on file (i.e. - go through the standard bureaucratic procedures to lodge an appeal, thereby recorded on file with the relevant authorities). General Reference. – FumbleFingers Sep 25 '12 at 12:38
Fill an appeal looks like a typo. Have you seen it more than once? – bib Sep 25 '12 at 12:39
@Anixx: You might fill out an application form to initiate your appeal, but you don't actually fill the appeal itself. – FumbleFingers Sep 25 '12 at 12:41
@bib Phrases like 'fill an appeal' are not a typos. It's an error repeated so often that it's almost a regionalism in some places. Similar 'errors' can be seen in plenty in 'Indian English', for instance: 'Did you fill your tax returns?' – Kris Sep 25 '12 at 13:28
up vote 1 down vote accepted

You "File an appeal" since you are issuing a challenge to someone or something and that will go through an entire formal process and then be documented for reference, hence the "file".

You "Fill something" when you have to simply enter some data for some process or application which may or may not be referenced in the future once the application has been processed.

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I have no idea what you're getting at with that definition of "Fill something". – FumbleFingers Sep 25 '12 at 12:57
Hey, answer edited. Thanks for pointing it out, realized it didn't make much sense myself. – VarunAgrawal Sep 25 '12 at 13:03

If for e.g. you want to lodge a complaint or you want to write to the university to check your exam papers once again, then you 'file an appeal'.

I dont know how you fill an appeal.

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