Atonement is not tied to suffering alone. It's much more complicated than that.

Atonement is not bound to suffering alone. It's much more complicated than that.

I want to convey that to atone is not dependent on suffering alone. Are any of the examples above correct in expressing that meaning?

  • 1
    If what you want to say is Atonement is not dependent on suffering alone, why don't you just use those words? I don't understand why you would want to switch from being dependent [on X] to being tied, bound, linked, attached,... to X] - but if you want to, you can use any of those words or similar. They're all perfectly valid in such contexts. Commented Nov 25, 2019 at 18:18
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    I agree with Fumble Fingers: you may use either "tied to" or "bound to" with no alteration in meaning, but in neither case does the sentence seem quite right. It is not clear whether suffering is necessary to atonement. I suspect you are trying to say something like "Suffering is a necessary part of atonement, but atonement requires more than suffering." Of course, you may have a different thought in mind. But your thought is not clarified by choosing between "tie" and "bind." Commented Nov 25, 2019 at 20:00
  • @JeffMorrow that is precisely what I intend to convey. You're right, these 2 are insufficient to wholely express that thought, but I'd been meaning to use as few words as possible.
    – user66344
    Commented Nov 25, 2019 at 22:09
  • Suffering is necessary, but not sufficient, for atonement. Commented Nov 25, 2019 at 22:16

1 Answer 1


Tie specifically means to prevent moving or attach with a string or rope.

Bind (irregular past participle bound) simply means attached tightly in a manner where if X moves, Y moves.

You can tie X to a post, but X isn't bound to a post unless it absolutely can't move without the post moving. Dragging is possible with being tied but not being bound.

Tie up or tie down is more synonymous with bind but still implies there's a string, rope, or chain involved.

Of course both of these words are often used figuratively and therefore the exact difference between these doesn't matter so much in most cases, unless you mean something big and physical like a car.

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