resolve vs solve

rose-mail

Senior Member
Hong Kong-Cantonese
I find differcult to get what 's difference of the following cases:

-How to resolve the problem?
-How to solve the problem?

thank you if you ;)let me know
 
  • Thomas Tompion

    Senior Member
    English - England
    I find differcult to get what 's difference of the following cases:

    -How to resolve the problem?
    -How to solve the problem?

    thank you if you ;)let me know

    I have difficulty understanding the difference between the following:

    -How to resolve the problem?
    -How to solve the problem?


    Hi Rose, I've tidied up your question a little; I hope you will forgive me for doing so.

    It's an interesting question. Some problems can be solved, but others can only be resolved, I would say.

    Solving:

    Some problems concern closed systems like mathematical formulae. They can be solved. You can solve problems in the form of equations. A solution often is self-evidently a solution once you see it. At the simplest level: 3x = 9, what is x? - clearly x=3. That is the solution. Substitute 3 in the equation and one sees that it holds (3 x 3 = 9).

    I had a friend who was unhappy when he went on holiday. I knew he liked playing Bach on his piano in the morning, so I suggested he buy a portable electric keyboard and take it with him. That solved the problem: he played Bach for three hours every morning and has never had such a good holiday.

    Resolving:

    Other problems are not susceptible to a simple clear solution. Often people get across each other, and, in an atmosphere of mutual reproach, it can be hard to get them to work together. One often needs to find a compromise where each person has to concede ground but both may realize that they are better off with the compromise than with the previous antagonisms. You'd probably not say you had solved the problem, but you might claim to have resolved it - you've probably produced the best compromise available to you.

    Notice I restricted myself to resolving problems. Often we talk about resolving issues, which are slightly different.


     

    The Slippery Slide

    Senior Member
    British English
    Thomas Tompion is correct.

    For the purpose of your question, you need to decide what kind of problem it is.

    Resolve suggests ending chaos, anger, war, dispute, argument, etc.

    Solve suggests finding the answer to a mystery.
     

    owlman5

    Senior Member
    English-US
    Should it be: "thank you guys, I feel all problems have been resolved instantly with your answer" ???
    Since we've found a clear solution to a grammatical problem, we should say "I believe your answers solved my problem."

    Welcome to the forum, Daniel. :)
     
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