Are "to fill" and "filled" both okay in the following? What's the difference in meaning?

He used a bottle filled / to fill with water.

1 Answer 1


"He used a bottle filled with water" - He used a bottle that had water in it to do something.

"He used a bottle to fill with water" - Is incorrect and doesn't mean anything.

"He used a bottle to fill the bowl with water" - He filled the bowl with water by using a bottle

  • Is "he bought a bottle to fill with water" correct?
    – Apollyon
    Nov 10, 2021 at 9:47
  • Yes. It means he got an empty bottle with the intention of filling it with water.
    – dubious
    Nov 10, 2021 at 9:59
  • Could you explain why a mere replacement of "used" with "bought" should make the sentence acceptable?
    – Apollyon
    Nov 10, 2021 at 10:03
  • When using "used" the whole construct is "used something to do something". The "to" applies to the verb. "To fill with water" is missing an object and is not sufficient as a description of an activity. When using "bought", "brought", "made" etc. the construct is "bought something" and the "to" is now a used to describe the bottle. In this case the intention of filling it.
    – dubious
    Nov 10, 2021 at 10:30
  • If the object of the exercise was to end up with a bottle of water, we would simply say "He filled a bottle with water" - there is no need for the verb use. Nov 10, 2021 at 15:27

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