dictate vs determine

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tony389

Member
Chinese
Hello everyone, today I came across a sentence when I was reading a computer hardware components guide article:

The socket is the physical interface between the motherboard and the processor. CPU and motherboard compatibility is dictated by the socket.

Which I think means during the process of cpu installation, the socket part on the motherboard determines if the particular cpu can be perfectly combined with the motherboard, so I wonder in this case whether "dictate" can be replaced by "determine"? I'm interested in the difference between these two words.
 
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  • Andygc

    Senior Member
    British English
    In this particular context "determined" is perfectly acceptable. But the words are not true synonyms here, although the meanings are close. I wouldn't use "governed", but I don't object to it. There's also "decided" as a further option.
     

    lingobingo

    Senior Member
    English - England
    … or even controlled. But it’s true that determine is as good an alternative as any to dictate if the point is that without that socket there’s no connectivity/compatibility at all.
     
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