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He found out/discovered silence was more effective than arguing.

Are they interchangeable? Why or why not?

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    It depends. To me, found out implies either that he found something unexpected by chance, or that he had to do a significant amount of researching to find something: I wouldn't use it for a Google search, or a routine analysis. But I have noticed that other people do use it differently. I remember years ago reading some of Richard Feynman's essays (probably Surely You're Joking, Mr Feynman, and he talked about doing some calculations about a problem and he "found out" some information, and that struck me as an odd use.
    – Colin Fine
    May 2, 2022 at 15:33
  • Does this answer your question? What is the difference between "find out" and "discover"?
    – Esther
    May 2, 2022 at 20:21

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I would say that the two are at least roughly interchangeable. Different people use these with different nuances of meaning, but they do not all make the same distinctions. Anything that one person might use "found out" for, another person might well use "discovered" for.

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