I've just read a linguistics study by Zlatner and Ahlner 2010 where it says:

Observe that the precondition for the success of the second step is that the contrastive relationship between the two expressions (representamina) on the one side is found to correspond to an analogous contrastive relationship between the two objects.

Does "observe" have the meaning of "note", "notice" or "point out"?

  • 1
    observe: "2. (when tr, may take a clause as object) to watch (something) carefully; pay attention to (something)". In your example, note or take note would fit the best.
    – user3169
    Commented Dec 12, 2016 at 7:14
  • Thanks, what about "point out"? I've heard something similar in the same context but I can't really find it. Maybe I would recommend you to put it in an answer.
    – Probably
    Commented Dec 12, 2016 at 7:30
  • "It's pointed out" could be a direct replacement for "observe" in your example, but more context would be necessary to confirm this. Only using "point out" would not work.
    – Peter
    Commented Dec 12, 2016 at 9:07
  • Or, if this is written from the author's point of view, "I would like to point out that..."
    – user3169
    Commented Dec 12, 2016 at 16:43

1 Answer 1


Note: All of the below is based on American English

The following three sentences have the same meaning:

Observe that the precondition...

Note that the precondition...

Notice that the precondition...

(Please note that all three of these sentences will be more polite if they start with "please". Without please, the speaker is lecturing the listener.)

The following sentence has a different meaning.

Point out that the precondition...

Point out is requesting the listener to distinguish one(or many) item(s) from other different items. For example, if you have five cups and two are red, you can ask the listener, "Please point out the red cups."

  • Yeah, thank you. I just knew there's a similar phrase that has the same meaning - "It's pointed out"
    – Probably
    Commented Dec 13, 2016 at 5:21
  • Sure thing. "It's pointed out" and "It is pointed out" are not used very often. Probably more common is "It's been pointed out". (short for "it has been pointed out).
    – Willow
    Commented Dec 13, 2016 at 6:04

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