Arrive at an answer

redgiant

Senior Member
Cantonese, Hong Kong
You gather as much book knowledge as you can on the subject to begin to arrive at an answer to your question.

http://plantphys.info/plants_human/scimeth.shtml

The webpage is about some tips on how to gain knowledge through scientific methods

I'd like to know if "arrive at an answer" is part of your active vocabulary. I've been running into it with increasing frequency but dismissed it as redundant, given that "solve your question"/"find your question" could do the job as well. But the frequent occurrence has me wondering if it has an unique meaning that no other words can quite capture it. Maybe I've been wrong all along.
 
  • DocPenfro

    Senior Member
    English - British
    "Beginning to arrive at an answer" is good, current idiomatic English. It would normally be used where the solution to a problem is achieved in progressive steps, rather than in a single intuitive "eureka" leap.
     

    Lyndon

    Banned
    N/A
    "Beginning to arrive at an answer" is good, current idiomatic English.
    I agree, in part, with the Doc. It's current idiomatic English -- particularly among corporate types who can never say anything straight out, like "We are finding an answer" for fear of being blamed later.
    They prefer to hedge with something like "We are beginning to arrive at a situation which holds great promise of a substantial possibility of finding a route towards the discovery of a potential answer". (OK, that's a bit exaggerated, but it gives the idea.)
     

    redgiant

    Senior Member
    Cantonese, Hong Kong
    DocPenfro Lyndon, thanks for pointing out its nuance. The phrase evokes in my mind an image of a plane landing on the destination after traveling a long distance.
     

    pwmeek

    Senior Member
    English - American
    DocPenfro Lyndon, thanks for pointing out its nuance. The phrase evokes in my mind an image of a plane landing on the destination after traveling a long distance.
    To me it brings to mind a maze of (mental) paths among which I have been wandering, looking for a solution. I begin to understand the pattern of the paths, and can now search more logically. At some point I think I see, down one of the paths, a glimpse of what I am looking for; I begin to arrive at [the] answer.

    And yes, I consider it a part of my active vocabulary. (AE)
     
    < Previous | Next >
    Top