1

Does "on" has the meaning of "by using"?

I can't diagnose mental problems just by using this test. (or just by)

I can't diagnose mental problems just on this test.

Can I use the second one instead of the first one?

1
  • nb spelling "can't"
    – jonathanjo
    May 6, 2019 at 13:51

2 Answers 2

2

I would use:

I can't diagnose mental problems just by this test.

If you insist on using "on:"

I can't diagnose mental problems just on the basis of this test.

0

Yes, "I can't diagnose mental problems just on this test" is perfectly good.

Also

  • just on one data point
  • just on hearsay
  • just on what you say
  • just on that

NB: comments suggest this might not be standard usage in medical circles. I suspect regional variations too, even for non-medical usage: "I can't decide just on this test."

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  • To diagnose someone "on this test" is very uncommon usage in medicine - I have never read or heard of it.
    – Jan
    May 6, 2019 at 14:28
  • Some native speakers say that just using on make the sentence a bit unclear and recommend using "going on the test" or even "by going on the test". 1- I can't diagnose mental problems going on this test. 1a- Just going on this test, I can't diagnose mental problems. 2- I can't diagnose mental problems just by going on this test. May 6, 2019 at 14:35
  • @TalhaÖzden, is this to be used in a spoken or written language?
    – Jan
    May 6, 2019 at 14:39
  • @Jan What would you use instead of "on" in this sentence? May 6, 2019 at 14:39
  • I edited my answer.
    – Jan
    May 6, 2019 at 15:34

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