Resolve or Resolution

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Thomas Tompion

Senior Member
English - England
Making a poor play on words in the French vocabulary forum this morning, when asking a question about the French for photographs in reduced resolution, I wanted to say that my determination to find a solution was undiminished. For the sake of the words I said my resolution was in no way reduced. I then thought that normally I would say my resolve was in no way reduced. I then thought I might say either. I then wondered if you guys can see any great difference in the meanings of resolve and resolution to express determination.

I know that we make New Year resolutions and not resolves. I'm concerned here with meaning 3 in the WR dictionary.

resoluteness, firmness, resolve, resolution
the trait of being resolute; firmness of purpose; "his resoluteness carried him through the battle"; "it was his unshakeable resolution to finish the work"
  • cuchuflete

    Senior Member
    To bring this to a resolution, I should specify in advance that I am an AE speaker.
    I resolve to discuss first routine, common speech patterns, rather than exceptions found in oratory or very formal academic writings.

    I use resolve to describe my own firm commitment or that of others. I am speaking of the noun here, especially in the present tense. He showed his unwavering resolve to end sentences with prepositions, so that his intentions would not be mixed up.
    Moving ahead to the past tense, I might say resolution to convey the same meaning, but it also carries a sense of decision making. She made a resolution to eschew political correctitude and to communicate directly, clearly and forcefully.

    Thinking about those (whimsical?) examples, I might phrase the second one as She came to hold a firm (yes, it is redundant) resolve to...

    The last example from the WordNet citation doesn't seem idiomatic to me, at least for
    normal AE. I would use resolve instead of resolution there.


    Senior Member
    English English
    In so far as I ever feel anything remotely like that, TT, I prefer resolve.
    (Resolve sounds ~ for mysterious reasons ~ more resolute than resolution, to me.)
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