verb gradation

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I was writing an essay and had to look up the verb to cry, finding weep, tear, mourn, grieve, whine, wail, blubber, but none of them approached what I meant. We have this expression in Portuguese, "olhos se encheram de lágrimas" which is something like "eyes became full of tears", it means, when you just start crying quietly. Is there any similar expression in English?

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#1
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Posts69Likes46Joined17/9/2019LocationMexico City / MX
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What comes to mind are the verbs "to sob", "to tear up" and "to weep". Something like "she started to tear up" or "she started to weep silently". That's honestly the closer I can get to, I am not a native speaker and maybe you already pondered on those words, but trying to help doesn't hurt :).


I also based my suggestions on googling the words, maybe using the definitions could also help: 

https://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/weep

https://www.dictionary.com/browse/tearing


Also, it is interesting, we don't have such expression in Spanish either! 


Language shapes our view of the world.

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#2
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Posts14Likes8Joined26/12/2019LocationBE
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Why don't you use "eyes became full of tears" or "tears came/were coming to his/her eyes" ?  

I think we need more context to help. Do you want to express the action of tears coming or the feeling that caused it ?

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#3
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Posts116Likes36Joined19/9/2019LocationSão Paulo / BR
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ZairaI.Uranga wrote:
What comes to mind are the verbs "to sob", "to tear up" and "to weep". Something like "she started to tear up" or "she started to weep silently". That's honestly the closer I can get to, I am not a native speaker and maybe you already pondered on those words, but trying to help doesn't hurt :).
I also based my suggestions on googling the words, maybe using the definitions could also help:
https://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/weep
https://www.dictionary.com/browse/tearing
Also, it is interesting, we don't have such expression in Spanish either!
Thank you! I believe "to tear up" is the one. I've searched for "watery eyes" and found out it's a condition! Languages are really great! Now I'm curious: how would you say that in Spanish? In a situation you get touched by something specially beautiful and tear up?

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#4
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Posts116Likes36Joined19/9/2019LocationSão Paulo / BR
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Michel wrote:
Why don't you use "eyes became full of tears" or "tears came/were coming to his/her eyes" ?
I think we need more context to help. Do you want to express the action of tears coming or the feeling that caused it ?
I wanted to express the action of tears coming when you face a specially touchy situation, because of beauty in the case I was describing in my text. I didn't use "my eyes became full of tears" because I thought it would be forcing Portuguese into English, and that's my big problem as a fluent but not bilingual speaker: use of English. Thank you. 

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#5
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Posts14Likes8Joined26/12/2019LocationBE
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Maybe tearful, tearfulness and tearfully are less Portuguese.

What about "to get" in stead of "to become" ?

 

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#6
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Posts69Likes46Joined17/9/2019LocationMexico City / MX
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Valeria.Fontes wrote:
Thank you! I believe "to tear up" is the one. I've searched for "watery eyes" and found out it's a condition! Languages are really great!


I am very glad I was of help! I just need to be clear on the matter that "to tear up" is more often used with the meaning of "destroying something". After brief research, I concluded you can still use to mean "watery eyes", I would just be wary of the second meaning. I did some investigation because I wanted to make sure I was giving good advice. Here are the links I used, they are all dictionaries.


https://dictionary.cambridge.org/us/dictionary/english/tear-up This one retains the meaning of "watery eyes". I am confident you can indeed use it like that because I trust the Cambridge dictionary a lot.


https://www.macmillandictionary.com/us/dictionary/american/tear-up_1 Has both definitions with emphasis on the meaning of "destroying something"


https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/tear%20up Has only the "destroying something" definition. 


I don't know why not all dictionaries totally agree. It is a curious phenomenon that kinda annoys me a bit. It happens to me all the time with German words. What I take out of it is that in reality, you can probably use a term with either of the two meanings or even more loosely, and can still be correct and understood. The more time it passes I realize languages are really messy and that linguists are sure having tons of fun getting a grasp of them.



Valeria.Fontes wrote:

Now I'm curious: how would you say that in Spanish? In a situation you get touched by something specially beautiful and tear up?


This is a very interesting question and also fun to answer. 


That something touched you is meant with the verb "conmover" which has the same meaning as "to get moved by". "Estoy muy conmovido" means "I am very moved." It's just basically when something had a very strong emotional impact on you, which can be meant in many ways, for example, when someone says something very beautiful to some other person, presencing a very outstanding act of kindness, but also with taking notice of a catastrophic event, or something that caused great surprise. 


We don't have something that means both things with a word, but "conmovido" is indeed frequently used with "llorar", "ojos llenos de lágrimas", "sollozar", "ojos vidriosos", "ojos llorosos" etc, especially in literature. I think those last to expressions are the closest in meaning with what you meant. "Lo conmovió mucho y sus ojos se pusieron vidriosos" literally means "He was very moved and his eyes became glassy". "Lo conmovió y empezó a sollozar" means "He was very moved and began to weep/sob silently". "Ojos llorosos" literally means "crying eyes" (with "crying" being used as an adjective) or "eyes full of tears".


I know I said a lot but I just really like exploring how my own language compares to others. There may even be a better expression that I can't think of right now. Anyways, it is very interesting. Thanks for asking  

Language shapes our view of the world.

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#7
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Posts1034Likes661Joined18/3/2018LocationTH
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I second "to tear up". 

I'm reading the Malazan Book of the Fallen.

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#8
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Posts116Likes36Joined19/9/2019LocationSão Paulo / BR
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ZairaI.Uranga wrote:
Valeria.Fontes wrote:
Thank you! I believe "to tear up" is the one. I've searched for "watery eyes" and found out it's a condition! Languages are really great!

I am very glad I was of help! I just need to be clear on the matter that "to tear up" is more often used with the meaning of "destroying something". After brief research, I concluded you can still use to mean "watery eyes", I would just be wary of the second meaning. I did some investigation because I wanted to make sure I was giving good advice. Here are the links I used, they are all dictionaries.
https://dictionary.cambridge.org/us/dictionary/english/tear-up This one retains the meaning of "watery eyes". I am confident you can indeed use it like that because I trust the Cambridge dictionary a lot.
https://www.macmillandictionary.com/us/dictionary/american/tear-up_1 Has both definitions with emphasis on the meaning of "destroying something"
https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/tear%20up Has only the "destroying something" definition.
I don't know why not all dictionaries totally agree. It is a curious phenomenon that kinda annoys me a bit. It happens to me all the time with German words. What I take out of it is that in reality, you can probably use a term with either of the two meanings or even more loosely, and can still be correct and understood. The more time it passes I realize languages are really messy and that linguists are sure having tons of fun getting a grasp of them.

Valeria.Fontes wrote:
Now I'm curious: how would you say that in Spanish? In a situation you get touched by something specially beautiful and tear up?

This is a very interesting question and also fun to answer.
That something touched you is meant with the verb "conmover" which has the same meaning as "to get moved by". "Estoy muy conmovido" means "I am very moved." It's just basically when something had a very strong emotional impact on you, which can be meant in many ways, for example, when someone says something very beautiful to some other person, presencing a very outstanding act of kindness, but also with taking notice of a catastrophic event, or something that caused great surprise.
We don't have something that means both things with a word, but "conmovido" is indeed frequently used with "llorar", "ojos llenos de lágrimas", "sollozar", "ojos vidriosos", "ojos llorosos" etc, especially in literature. I think those last to expressions are the closest in meaning with what you meant. "Lo conmovió mucho y sus ojos se pusieron vidriosos" literally means "He was very moved and his eyes became glassy". "Lo conmovió y empezó a sollozar" means "He was very moved and began to weep/sob silently". "Ojos llorosos" literally means "crying eyes" (with "crying" being used as an adjective) or "eyes full of tears".
I know I said a lot but I just really like exploring how my own language compares to others. There may even be a better expression that I can't think of right now. Anyways, it is very interesting. Thanks for asking :blush:
Wow! Thank you so much! I'm going to check the dictionary entries you've sent me. Yes, it's annoying (and fun, at the same time) they don't agree! Yes, I had completely forgotten the other meaning of "tear". 

I've loved your comments on Spanish! We have the verb "comover" in Portuguese as well. My choice is for "ojos vidriosos"! What a beautiful image! This one got stuck in my mind which means I've learnt new vocabulary indeed.

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#9
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Posts69Likes46Joined17/9/2019LocationMexico City / MX
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Valeria.Fontes wrote:
Wow! Thank you so much! I'm going to check the dictionary entries you've sent me. Yes, it's annoying (and fun, at the same time) they don't agree! Yes, I had completely forgotten the other meaning of "tear".
I've loved your comments on Spanish! We have the verb "comover" in Portuguese as well. My choice is for "ojos vidriosos"! What a beautiful image! This one got stuck in my mind which means I've learnt new vocabulary indeed.


I am glad you liked it! "Ojos vidriosos" is an expression I see mostly in literature. It does sound beautiful, but for some reason, the picture in my head focuses more on a kind of "ugly crying". It doesn't make sense I know.


Anyway, I am glad I could help :)

Language shapes our view of the world.

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#10
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Posts116Likes36Joined19/9/2019LocationSão Paulo / BR
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ZairaI.Uranga wrote:
Valeria.Fontes wrote:
Wow! Thank you so much! I'm going to check the dictionary entries you've sent me. Yes, it's annoying (and fun, at the same time) they don't agree! Yes, I had completely forgotten the other meaning of "tear".
I've loved your comments on Spanish! We have the verb "comover" in Portuguese as well. My choice is for "ojos vidriosos"! What a beautiful image! This one got stuck in my mind which means I've learnt new vocabulary indeed.

I am glad you liked it! "Ojos vidriosos" is an expression I see mostly in literature. It does sound beautiful, but for some reason, the picture in my head focuses more on a kind of "ugly crying". It doesn't make sense I know.
Anyway, I am glad I could help :)
There's a literature expression for this sort of crying I just love in Portuguese, which is "olhos marejados". Don't know if it's possible to translate... it has to do with the sea... or maybe with tides (sea= mar, tide= maré). 

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#11
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Posts69Likes46Joined17/9/2019LocationMexico City / MX
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Valeria.Fontes wrote:

There's a literature expression for this sort of crying I just love in Portuguese, which is "olhos marejados". Don't know if it's possible to translate... it has to do with the sea... or maybe with tides (sea= mar, tide= maré).


I don´t think I can quite translate it, but I get it! It's interesting how can I get a grasp of it because Spanish and Portuguese are a bit similar. "Eyes like sea waves" I am guessing. Also very beautiful :)

Language shapes our view of the world.

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