I was reading a text but I was not able to comprehend the writers report.

It says:

Their approach takes each word in the thesaurus and finds all corresponding translations.

It seems some how confusing to me, I have already two intuitions, but can't distinguish between them!

they have a thesaurus and they use the words located in thesaurus and to find the translations they use another dictionary or a machine translation system.


they have a list of words and they look them up in the thesaurus to find the similar synonyms.

Thanks for you time.

  • 3
    There is no such expression as 'take something in a thesaurus'; the sentence refers specifically to words. Commented Nov 18, 2021 at 16:19
  • @KateBunting Thanks.
    – amkyp
    Commented Nov 18, 2021 at 16:23
  • @LocalHosT I'd like to note that the abbreviation "sth" is almost unheard of among native English speakers, and confused me a lot before learning what it meant. Apparently it's common among non-native speakers because it's used by dictionaries, and made it from there to language learning materials for people learning english as a second language--just don't assume that people will always know what you mean by it!
    – Hearth
    Commented Nov 19, 2021 at 1:54

1 Answer 1


Your first guess is right (or, as far as we can tell from the one sentence, it is). The construction "take [noun] and [verb]" simply means "perform [verb] on or in relation to [noun]." This is using the meaning of take given as #18 here, "to deal with (e.g. take first things first)." In this case, when it talks about "take each [noun] in [collection] and...", it means "consider each unit in the collection individually," like "take each book on the bookshelf and write my name in it."

On its own, the sentence does seem to be describing performing an action on every single word in a thesaurus, which sounds like quite a large operation. I wonder whether context might make some other meaning clear, like whether they meant "every entry in the thesaurus," or "for a given entry, every word listed as a synonym of that entry." But on its own, the sentence simply says "each word."

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .