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Difference between discover and find out

Discussion in 'English Only' started by LaseLiep, Nov 12, 2007.

  1. LaseLiep Senior Member

    Sweden
    France/French
    I don't manage to find the difference between those two terms, so when I need to use one instead of the other.
    Perhaps discover is more for concret, e.g. to discover new places, and find out more abstract, e.g. I find out a new idea for our project.

    In my case, I want to use it like that: I like to discover/find out new artists/musics.

    Thank in advance for your help.
     
  2. bibliolept

    bibliolept Senior Member

    Northern California
    AE, Español
    In your sentence, "discover" is a perfect fit. "Find" would be suitable, but "find out" is not idiomatic.

    I don't think I could explain the rationale or rules behind this. It's partially a matter of custom.
    http://www.m-w.com/dictionary/find+out
     
  3. candy-man

    candy-man Senior Member

    London/Madrid
    Polish/Poland
    I´ve found out that Rebeca has had a serious affair with John.
    I´ve discovered(more personal experience,I guess) some very useful hints in that book.
     
  4. petereid

    petereid Senior Member

    selby yorkshire
    english
    "I've found out" often refers to something which was not necessarly sought. Also "I've found out" is rarely followed by a noun ...
    I've found out who....
    I've found out why....
    I've found out when....
    Then try putting a noun here:
    I've found out Africa....
    I've found out Plutonium
    I've found out the cure for cancer
    I've found out 25 intergalactic civilizations.
    "Discovered" often involves an active search..
    eg "I discovered..... Africa". I know it's a lie but the grammar's ok
     
  5. LaseLiep Senior Member

    Sweden
    France/French
    Thank you all for your answers.
    I'm a little bit confused, I think I probably need to practise now ;)
     
  6. Rivendell

    Rivendell Senior Member

    Madrid
    Spanish / Spain
    I think you discover something that was concealed for everyone or at least unknown, and you are the first to know: you discover Africa, new talents (hidden for everyone) or the cure for cancer.

    However you find out who stole your book (no one else cares about it) or who went to the cinema with your girl-friend...

    In general you discover things that a lot of people are interested in, and find out things useful to you.
     

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