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"They laid mines and he had to track all of them so he doesn't step on one of them."

"They laid mines and he had to track all of them down so he doesn't step on one of them."

Does track them down imply that he's going after the mines, while track them implies he's just memorizing the locations of the mines?

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  • If he's memorizing the positions, then he has to keep track of them.
    – stangdon
    Jul 6, 2021 at 11:28

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I probably would not use either “track” or “track down” here. The first dictionary I looked up confirms my intuition: track means “follow the course or trail of,” so I would not normally use it to describe something immobile like landmines. I would say something like find, discover, map, locate or reveal instead.

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  • "He had to (past tense)... so that he didn't step on one." Jul 6, 2021 at 8:01
  • @KateBunting Had to detect the mines? Find? Discern? Watch out for? Avoid?
    – Davislor
    Jul 6, 2021 at 14:09
  • Locate would be my suggestion. Jul 6, 2021 at 16:22

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