Bring ... closer (together)

Li'l Bull

Senior Member
Spanish (Spain)
Hi, native speakers of English!

I would like to write an essay with the intention of finding a middle point between two clashing points of view. I'm thinking of using the expression "bring ... closer (together)", but I'm not sure how to use it. This is my attempt:

This essay aims to bring these two standpoints closer (together).

I'm particularly unsure about adding "together" at the end. I found an example in the WR dictionary with "together" (i.e. "they are having another meeting to try and bring the two sides closer (together)"), but if I'm not mistaken, I would say "together" works better (even if it appears as optional in the dictionary example) when there are two (groups) of people involved, as opposed to two points of view.

Can you please help me out?

Thank you in advance.
 
  • owlman5

    Senior Member
    English-US
    I understand your hesitation in using the phrase, Li'l Bull. Those standpoints really won't be any closer together even if you find a position that is less extreme than either of them. I think you've already thought of a better phrase that expresses what you are trying to do: ...finding a middle point between two clashing points of view.

    Why don't you write something like this?: "This essay takes a position somewhere between two clashing points of view."
     

    Li'l Bull

    Senior Member
    Spanish (Spain)
    Why don't you write something like this?: "This essay takes a position somewhere between two clashing points of view."
    Thank you, owlman5, but this is not quite what I mean. It's totally my fault for not being more specific as to my intention: my essay will try to use argumentation, including both extreme standpoints, in order to prove that a middle point is possible. I don't really want to take sides.

    Is there really no way I can use "bring closer"? (I assume it is possible, from the example I quoted above, but my doubt is both with the expression and, especially, with the addition of "together").

    I do hope I explained it better this time.
     

    owlman5

    Senior Member
    English-US
    Thank you, owlman5, but this is not quite what I mean. It's totally my fault for not being more specific as to my intention: my essay will try to use argumentation, including both extreme standpoints, in order to prove that a middle point is possible. I don't really want to take sides.

    Is there really no way I can use "bring closer"? (I assume it is possible, from the example I quoted above, but my doubt is both with the expression and, especially, with the addition of "together").

    I do hope I explained it better this time.
    Every essay has a "side" or "viewpoint", Li'l Bull, so you will be taking some position whether you want to or not. That doesn't mean, of course, that you must adopt one or another of two opposing points of view.

    If you really like "bring together", you should use it. When people talk about "reconciling" or "bringing together" two opposing points of view, they are speaking figuratively - abstract things like points of view cannot change their minds and come together, adopt less extreme views, or decide to agree.

    Though your use of the phrase is a loose one, I doubt that anybody who reviews or grades the essay will make a big deal of it. I have read similar phrases like "reconcile two different points of view", so other writers use similar language.
     
    Last edited:

    Li'l Bull

    Senior Member
    Spanish (Spain)
    Every essay has a "side" or "viewpoint", Li'l Bull, so you will be taking some position whether you want to or not. That doesn't mean, of course, that you must adopt one or another of two opposing points of view.

    If you really like "bring together", you should use it. When people talk about "reconciling" or "bringing together" two opposing points of view, they are speaking figuratively - abstract things like points of view cannot change their minds and come together, adopt less extreme views, or decide to agree.

    Though your use of the phrase is a loose one, I doubt that anybody who reviews or grades the essay will make a big deal of it. I have read similar phrases like "reconcile two different points of view", so other writers use similar language.
    Thanks again, owlman5. I guess you're right about me taking one position or another.

    Do you mean that I can use "bring together" without "closer" (i.e. bring ... closer (together)). I thought the optional element in the phrase was "together", not "closer"... :confused:
     

    owlman5

    Senior Member
    English-US
    Thanks again, owlman5. I guess you're right about me taking one position or another.

    Do you mean that I can use "bring together" without "closer" (i.e. bring ... closer (together)). I thought the optional element in the phrase was "together", not "closer"... :confused:
    You are welcome again, Li'l Bull. :) You can certainly use "closer together".
     

    Li'l Bull

    Senior Member
    Spanish (Spain)
    You are welcome again, Li'l Bull. :) You can certainly use "closer together".
    I feel like it's happening again: I'm getting confused as to what the final version should be. Are the following two options possible, then?:

    A. This essay aims to bring these two standpoints closer.

    B. This essay aims to bring these two standpoints closer together.

    Sorry for being so insistent, but maybe by reading both complete versions you can judge better which is more appropriate. ;)
     
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