2

The online dictionary, freedictionary.com, gives several definitions of the verb, conceive.

  1. To become pregnant with
  2. To form or develop in the mind
  3. To apprehend mentally; understand
  4. To be of the opinion that; think
  5. To begin or originate in a specific way

I am interested in the second definition. Next, I am going to use it in a sentence:

It took me at least thirty minutes to conceive a good thesis statement for my essay.

Is it correct to say conceive a thesis statement?

  • 1
    Yes, but we would tend to use the phrasal verb: come up with a good thesis statement. – Lambie Aug 14 '18 at 21:31
  • 1
    @Lambie I agree, but I think that's because conceive sounds a bit formal, whereas the surrounding text appears to be informal in style (and not because it co-occurs with a thesis statement). Am I on the right track? People don't normally talk about conceiving something themselves, do they? The idiom come up with is markedly informal, in my view, and therefore suitable for conversational English. I cannot conceive... on the other hand sounds elevated. – userr2684291 Aug 14 '18 at 22:10
1

Yes, your sentence is grammatical and makes perfect sense. This usage of conceive basically means "to invent or devise" a plan, an idea, or an invention. It is synonymous with "to think up", "to come up with." For example:

That script was conceived and written by Spielberg.

The project was conceived in the 1990s, but wasn't carried out until 2004.

0

One conceives a plan, a project, a program, a book. a film. Something that is long or long-ish.

I would not say to conceive a statement. Personal choice.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.