Appear: Then something or someone appears

Xavier da Silva

Senior Member
Hello everyone,

Does "appear" meaning "to begin to exist or be known'' sound natural/correct in the examples I made below?

a. The country was in chaos. Then a savior appeared and turned things around, brought the country back to life.
b. The doctors had no idea what to do. The patient was terminally ill. Then an idea appeared and they saved the patient.

Thank you in advance!
 
  • Barque

    Senior Member
    Tamil
    It sounds fairly natural in the first example but not in the second. Ideas strike, or come to people. "Appear" goes better with things that can be seen.
     

    suzi br

    Senior Member
    English / England
    Hello everyone,

    Does "appear" meaning "to begin to exist or be known'' sound natural/correct in the examples I made below?

    a. The country was in chaos. Then a savior appeared and turned things around, brought the country back to life.
    b. The doctors had no idea what to do. The patient was terminally ill. Then an idea appeared and they saved the patient.

    Thank you in advance!
    Not really. Appear means show up / become visible. It isn’t necessarily a slow process.

    Your first example is OK

    Your second example is wrong. Ideas usually “occur”. They cannot really be seen, so appear is not a suitable verb choice.

    Edit: cross-posted and in complete agreement.
     

    Xavier da Silva

    Senior Member
    Thank you all very much.

    What would be more naturally used in my (a) and (b) examples?

    a. The country was in chaos. Then a savior _____________ and turned things around, brought the country back to life.
    b. The doctors had no idea what to do. The patient was terminally ill. Then an idea _________ and they saved the patient.
    Could you please help me?

    Thank you in advance!
     

    suzi br

    Senior Member
    English / England
    Are these examples from a text-book?

    We already told you that appeared is OK for the saviour.

    The second sentence is badly structured, so it is hard to fill the gap.

    You could say “occured to the doctor”
     

    Barque

    Senior Member
    Tamil
    Another option is: An idea came to the doctor. I wouldn't use the word there myself because you'd used it a couple of sentences before (...had no idea what to do).
     
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