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install something to fix equipment or furniture into position so that it can be used

They're planning to install a new drainage system.

Make sure the equipment is properly installed.

A hidden camera had been installed in the room.


plug something (up) to fill a hole with a substance or piece of material that fits tightly into it

He plugged the hole in the pipe with an old rag.

Divers succeeded in plugging the leaks from the tanker.


Let's say you have just bought a toy car for your son, you need to "to put / plug / install the batteries into the toy car to make it work".

What is the common way to express it?

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The phrasing I would use is "to put batteries in," as in "You need to put batteries in the car to make it work."

(Of course, a young child might not realize that you have to put batteries in a particular place in the car, in a particular orientation. You'd have to show the kid "the right way to put batteries in.")

Saying "put batteries into the car" instead of "put batteries in the car" also sounds just fine, but it's slightly longer.

Using the verb "plug" here doesn't work because batteries are not thought of as being plugs. A plug, in the electrical sense, is a type of connector which is usually found at the end of a cable.

Saying "install batteries in the car" is not incorrect, but it's a very technical way of saying it. I would never use that phrasing when talking to a child about a toy.

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