a synonym for unfold

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GandalfMB

Senior Member
Bulgarian - Yellow Beach
Hello,
Can I use "develop", "happen" or "play out" instead in this sentence: "We stood and watched the drama in front of us unfold."?

I personally don't think that "happen" would work here. What do you suggest? Does develop sound unnatural too?
 
  • Wordsmyth

    Senior Member
    Native language: English (BrE)
    Hi Gandalf,

    I agree that "happen" doesn't work.

    "Develop" keeps the meaning, but to me it sounds more 'technical'; "unfold" is more, well, dramatic (or perhaps poetic).

    "Play out" would also fit, though I see that as putting more emphasis on the conclusion.

    Ws
     

    GandalfMB

    Senior Member
    Bulgarian - Yellow Beach
    Good morning Wordsmyth. I agree and the only reason I suggested "develop" is because nothing else came to mind. I am glad it keeps the meaning though. I have to admit I wasn't sure about "play out" for the reason you have pointed out.
    Thank you and I am sorry if some of the suggestions are silly.
     

    Wordsmyth

    Senior Member
    Native language: English (BrE)
    I am sorry if some of the suggestions are silly
    I didn't find them at all silly.

    "We stood and watched the drama in front of us ."?
    Well, if you really wanted to prune the sentence to a minimum, it could be "We stood and watched the drama". After all, it'd be hard to watch a drama that's behind you! :D But I like "unfold": it adds a sense of substance and movement.

    Ws
     
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