To solve something is to find an answer to it.

This is the definition of "solve" in my dictionary.
Honestly I can't quite catch the meaning of the part "to it".

  1. To solve something is to find an answer to it.
  2. To solve something is to find an answer of it.

Do they have the same meaning, or not?
If not, what's the difference between them?


"[...T]o find an answer of it" would be an archaic construction meaning to find an answer by way of it. "It" would then be the evidence, or the supplier of the evidence, rather than the question or problem. This phrasing is not at all idiomatic in modern English, because we rarely use that sense of "of" anymore, and one could probably make a solid argument that it isn't grammatical.

"[...T]o find an answer to it", on the other hand, means what you expect it to mean: to find an answer which solves the problem.

Consider also "[...]to find a solution for it", which is idiomatic for non-question problems, but less so for questions.

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.