I was wondering if you let me know in which one of the self-made sentences bellow, the bold part sounds redundant:

Could you please exemplify it with an example?

Could you please illustrate it with an example?

Based on the definitions in the most of the online dictionaries I visited , both of the verbs above mean to clarify or explain something using examples. But:

1) I'm not sure if they can always be freely exchanged.

2) Meanwhile, I don't know if they require the object "example" at all or it is implied by itself.


1 Answer 1


Could you please illustrate it with an example? is correct.

The dictionary says that Illustrate means to make clear or intelligible. So you are asking the listener to clarify his point using an example.

Exemplify means to make an example out of. Think of it as creating an example.

For example, if I say "Federer exemplifies grace and style in tennis" it would mean I am using Federer as an example of stylistic tennis players.

So, in my opinion, an example need not be exemplified.

  • That would be childish. I am just glad we were able to help. Thanks for adding the links. Commented Jan 26, 2017 at 16:49

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