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everyone, I’m very glad to join here today.

There is, however, something special about puppet shows in Turkey. In the popular puppet theater in Turkey, the puppets are not clearly visible. Rather, they are shadowy. . . . The traditional puppet theater strengthens the cultural identity of the Turkish people and brings them closer together through entertainment.

*source; our local textbook for high school students

Can the “brings“ above be replaced with ”bonds“ in that context? I wonder if two verbs could be used interchangeably to indicate the emotional joining together.

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  • Bonds is perfectly valid, but extremely uncommon for the exact context. See this usage chart, showing that it's nearly always brings. And on the relatively uncommon occasions where it's not, we're far more likely to use binds than bonds. Note that both bonds and binds are far more emphatic "figurative" usages - brings is really just about literal proximity Commented Jul 5, 2023 at 17:08

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No, "bonds" does not mean the same as "brings", but it does mean roughly the same as "brings them closer (together)", so this is the replacement I would make:

The traditional puppet theater strengthens the cultural identity of the Turkish people and bonds them (together) through entertainment.

The word "together" can remain as an optional intensifier.

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