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意得輯觀點 Editage Insights - What's the difference between to reveal, to show, and to indicate?
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論文寫作:動詞reveal、show和indicate的差別


“The data reveal that”、“Table 1 shows that” 或 “Figure 2 indicates that” 等句型在研究論文中相當常見,用來表示內容及其支持資料(數據、表格、圖表等)的關聯,不過這3個動詞並不是同義詞,它們的含義各有些微不同。

“show” 也許是三詞中最樸素的,用在內容與來源的相互關係極為明顯時,如“Table 1 shows that of the six months, December was the coldest.”,讀者只要參照來源就知道語句的真實性。

“reveal” 用於結論並不明顯時,作者需要讀者去思考。牛津詞典定義reveal為『將先前未知的或秘密的信息讓他人知道』,因此,使用reveal 來傳達需要分析或思考的結論。

“indicate” 類似 “show”,但有不確定性,像是數據導致您懷疑某東西,但不能肯定。用indicate來避免明確的說法。但是亦不要常用indicate,若一篇文章中充滿了不確定性,您的研究發現可能會有發表問題。
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What's the difference between to reveal, to show, and to indicate?


Constructions like "the data reveal that," "Table 1 shows that," or ‘Figure 2 indicates that’ are common enough in research papers—and all are commonly used to connect a source (data, a table, a figure, etc.) to a statement supported by that source; however, the three verbs are not exactly synonyms but differ subtly in meaning.

"Show" is perhaps the plainest of the three. Use it when the statement obviously follows from the source, as in "Table 1 shows that of the six months, December was the coldest." A glance at the source is all that is needed to know the truth of the statement.

"Reveal," on the other hand, means that the conclusion is not obvious but requires some thinking on the part of the reader—as it did on the part of the writer. The Oxford Dictionary of English defines "reveal" as make (previously unknown or secret information) known to others. Therefore, use "reveal" to convey that it took some analysis or interpretation of the data to arrive at the conclusion.

"Indicate" is similar to "show" but introduces a note of uncertainty: that the data leads you to suspect something but you can't be sure. Use "indicate" when you want to avoid a definitive statement. However, do not use the word "indicate" too often; if you do, your findings may be considered too tentative for publication.

To gain confidence in using synonyms and confusable words, read this short article.

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