Fill, Load or Pack?

Fill, Load or Pack?

Look at the picture above and answer the question:

Which is happening – filling, loading or packing?

Read this post about the three verbs and make sure your answer is right.


If you make something full of something, you fill it (up) with something:

Can you fill my glass, please?

Fans will fill the stadium soon.

Why is the kitchen filled with the smoke?

Tears are filling her eyes.

The bath is filling. (If something is filling, it’s becoming full.)

Her eyes are filling (up) with tears. (= Tears are filling her eyes.)

The stadium will fill with fans. (= Fans will fill the stadium.)

The streets of the city are always filled with tourists.

The clouds are filling the skies.

If you fill a hole or a gap with something, the hole/gap will no longer exist:

A bookcase can easily fill this gap.

Let’s fill the cracks with cement.

Fill (= stuff) the chicken with vegetables and roast it. (The food that is put into the chicken is called stuffing; filling is food that you put inside cakes, bread, pastry, etc..)

The doctor filled my tooth. (= The doctor put a hard substance into a hole in my tooth. That material is called filling.)


If you put a lot of things into a machine or onto a vehicle, you load (up) the machine/vehicle:

Have you loaded the dishwasher?

Load the washing machine with the baby’s clothes.

Load the DVD into the player, would you?

The loaders are loading the truck.

The truck is loading. (= They are loading the truck. The verb “load” can be transitive and intransitive.)

The ships are loading at the port now.

They are loading the cargo onto the ship.

My caring wife has loaded my plate with fish and veggies. (The speaker emphasizes the fact that a lot of things have been put onto the plate.)

So, when you speak about putting lots of things into or onto something like a container or a vehicle, use load. Also, use the verb when speaking about equipment like a dishwasher, DVD player, etc.


You pack something like a bag or a box when you take/send the bag/box somewhere. It’s correct to say that you fill a bag/box at that time, but pack is a more precise word for that kind of filling.

I have to go home and pack because I’m going on a trip tomorrow.

Have you packed the suitcase yet?

You also pack your belongings:

I’ve packed my favorite dress. I hope I’ll get a chance to wear it.

Don’t forget to pack any medicine you take.

A place is packed if it is (too) full of people:

The stadium was packed with fans.

Fans simply packed the stadium.


Practice makes perfect, so click the link here and choose the right verb to complete the sentences.

So, what’s happening in the picture above? Describe it in the comments below. 😉

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