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Is there a difference between 場が凍る and 場が凍り付く? Both seem to be in use. Both are 自動詞/五段活用. An example sentence by yours truly:

教室で先生に「お前何言ってんだ」って言っちゃって場が凍った
教室で先生に「お前何言ってんだ」って言っちゃって場が凍りついた

I have also heard 空気が凍る used in the same sense as well.

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They basically mean the same, but 凍りつく gives an impression that the resulting, frozen state is more firmly set and doesn’t easily melt. I believe the “up” in “freeze up” adds a similar nuance compared to just “freeze”.

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  • I think つく has more of a "sticky" feel to it. In other words, the freezing will stick and stay. (Basically what you said.) But, up doesn't really have this connotation. I think "freeze up" is generally used with something you'd wish hadn't frozen, like the pipes in your house in winter. I think up in this context gives more of a feel akin to using しまう in Japanese. – A.Ellett May 24 at 3:37
  • @A.Ellett: OK. Thanks. English is not my first language. How about "down"? Is "freeze down" even possible? – aguijonazo May 24 at 3:41
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    I wasn't really trying to correct; just add some thoughts of my own to what I felt was a pretty good answer on your part. I understand the nuance you're trying to get at; I feel it strongly there with 凍りつく. Unfortunately "freeze down" would sound a bit odd (unless you somehow were suggesting it was a deep frost that went deep down into the earth). I think at best in English you'd have to throw in an adverb like "completely", like "the lake was completely frozen" (poor fish). Or, "the river was frozen solid". – A.Ellett May 24 at 3:54
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    But the 場が凍りついた version is really more abstract in meaning, right. And I don't think there's a good way in English of quite conveying the additional nuance of ついた here. I think at best in English you can say "chilled the air"--yeah, I know it's 場 but.... – A.Ellett May 24 at 3:58
  • I agree with @A.Ellett that "freeze up" refers to a situation where you'd wish something hadn't frozen, literally or figuratively. A simple figurative usage would be "I froze up on stage". I am wondering about しまう though. Doesn't しまう also carry the possible connotation that something is done completely, besides something that happens to one's dismay? I wonder how well that completeness jives with "freezing will stick and stay". Like can't 凍っちゃった mean "something completely frozen"? – Eddie Kal May 24 at 4:06

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