a approximation of or near (to)


Senior Member
Hi everyone,

A translation is often just a rough approximation of the original meaning and so it will always be necessary for some people to learn foreign languages. The average person might find a quality machine translator rather useful, but it is unlikely that such translators will ever replace language learning.


Can I use "near" or "near to" to replace the original "a rough approximation of "?

Just as in this sentence:
"The runners looked near exhaustion." (from cambridge dictionary online)."

Thank you!
  • MingBei

    Senior Member
    You are proposing to substitute an adjective for a noun and that will cause problems unless you tailor the sentence accordingly.
    Thank you for your reply.

    I'd like to ask that can I say "A translation is often just near the original meaning"?


    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    If you're using approximation, which is appropriate in this context, it would be more effective to find a suitable modifier of that word.

    A reasonably good approximation or a reasonably close approximation.