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The earth takes a year to turn around the sun one time. The earth takes a year to travel around the sun one time.

Which is suitable, turn around or travel around? I found turn around on this link. http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source=web&cd=23&ved=0ahUKEwjf7O3u2cvQAhVEPY8KHQlXCE8QFgh4MBY&url=http%3A%2F%2Fforum.wordreference.com%2Fthreads%2Fthe-earth-is-turning-around-the-sun.694578%2F&usg=AFQjCNFxG5MM7-aMbFd4Vn_JrB_G7-9uww https://books.google.com/books?id=3PGLAwAAQBAJ&pg=PA25&dq=%22turn+around+the+sun%22&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjD8d7h28vQAhXKOI8KHUORASEQ6AEIOjAG

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    Since the Earth turns on its own axis, travel around might be better (or simply orbit).
    – Mick
    Nov 28, 2016 at 14:29
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    You can also say, "The earth revolves around the sun."
    – yubraj
    Nov 28, 2016 at 15:35

2 Answers 2

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The technical (astronomical) terms are: to rotate and to revolve

The main difference between the two is the position of the axis: through the object, or outside the object.


In the case of your question, it is not about using the most scientific terms, so the following are OK:

The earth takes a year to rotate around the sun one time.

(although still not the best)

The earth takes a year to travel around the sun one time.

(it is just fine )

The next two are the most correct:

  • The earth takes a year to revolve around the sun one time.

  • The earth takes a year to orbit around the sun one time.


A professional astronomer might have additional ideas, but I am not one of them.

Note: "revolve" is the most "complicated" word, and might not be understood by any average Joe, so be careful to know your audience when you use it.

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According to the meaning of words many possibilities can exist:

The earth turns around the sun.

  • to turn - move or cause to move in a circular direction wholly or partly around an axis or point.

The earth travels around the sun.

  • to travel - (of an object or radiation) move, typically in a constant or predictable way.

The earth goes around the sun.

  • to go - move from one place to another; travel. To be in the process of moving.

The earth orbits the sun.

  • to orbit - the regularly repeated elliptical course of a celestial object or spacecraft about a star or planet.

Notice no around needed.

The earth revolves around the sun.

  • to revolve - move in a circle on a central axis, move in a circular orbit around.

The earth moves around the sun.

  • to move - go in a specified direction or manner; change position.

Still the best two choices I would stick to are: travels, revolves, goes and orbits.

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    You should change rotate to revolve in this answer; rotate is not the right word to used for this. I also don't think turns is a very good choice here.
    – J.R.
    Nov 28, 2016 at 16:12
  • I agree, considering that revolve is a better term and closer to orbit, yet rotate can have the same meaning but am not completely sure if it's applicable here. Nov 28, 2016 at 16:19
  • SovereignSun: According to Ngram both "Earth rotates around the sun" and "Earth revolves around the sun" are very popular. Nov 28, 2016 at 16:23
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    According to Ngram the latter is much more popular than the former.
    – J.R.
    Nov 28, 2016 at 18:36
  • You are right but it does exist. Bad English? Nov 28, 2016 at 19:10

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