Are the following examples all acceptable? If so, do they mean the same thing? Any nuances related to aspects?

I've got to think of a way to earn more money.

I've got to figure out a way to earn more money.

I've got to work out a way to earn more money.

  • what's your take on these sentences? What you think about each of them? – Maulik V Apr 24 '14 at 12:25
  • I would think they are the same except that think of has an imperfective aspect while the other two have perfective aspects. – Kinzle B Apr 24 '14 at 12:30

The meanings are very similar. The only difference, to my mind, involves the effort involved.

You can think of something out of the clear blue sky, without even trying. If you figure something out, you have set yourself a problem, or been set a problem, and solved it; this implies more effort. To work something out also implies an effort, and probably a more prolonged one; you can figure something out quickly, but it usually takes time to work something out.

For most practical purposes, though, they can be used interchangeably.

  • I agree with this. And "Work out" can be broader in meaning, and can include actions needed to accomplish the goal. – CoolHandLouis Apr 24 '14 at 23:24

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