Which one is the correct one:

  1. To encounter people and better understand their way of thinking
  2. To encounter people and better understand the way they think

Thanks a lot for your help!

Context: This is a translation from the french phrase: pour rencontrer les personnes et mieux comprendre leurs façons de penser


Both sentences mean the same thing, and both are correct English. The first one is slightly more formal, and sounds a little better with the rest of the sentence. It's a very small difference, though. The first sentence also looks like a more literal translation of the French.

  • Adam, it's surprising to know there is a difference, slight as it may but still it's important to know what is the difference. I gave it a thought but unfortunately couldn't find out any difference between the two. Could you please care to tell us the difference? Jan 15 '15 at 8:48
  • It's like I said -- "their way of thinking" sounds a little more formal, probably because it's more indirect.
    – Adam Haun
    Jan 15 '15 at 15:19
  • okay...that means there is no semantic difference. Thanks Adam. Jan 15 '15 at 17:16

I agree with Adam. The first one looks always more formal and scientific.

  • +1 for your first answer :) Please try to explain a bit from next time onward. This one looks more of a comment than an answer. Anyways still your effort is appreciated. Good job :) Jan 15 '15 at 8:56
  • @Nima You could have added some research to support your statement that you agree, e.g. usage evidence from Google Books (you can still do that:-)), since you don't have enough reputation to comment or to vote yet. When you do, an upvote would be the most appropriate thing to do if you don't wish to add anything.
    – Lucky
    Apr 20 '15 at 17:59

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