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General Writing and Grammar Help/Machine,Device,Gadget,Instrument,Tool,Equipment as Synonyms ?

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QUESTION: Dear Ted

Can we consider Machine,Device,Gadget,Instrument,Tool,Equipment as Synonyms ?

Which would be most appropriate i.e. Radio Button or if multiple check boxes are given for the below examples, which would you select ?


For examples :

Question 1
----------------

1. Surgeon uses a Surgical instrument to perform surgery.
2. Surgeon uses a Surgical machine to perform surgery.
3. Surgeon uses a Surgical device to perform surgery.
4. Surgeon uses a Surgical tool to perform surgery.
5. Surgeon uses a Surgical gadget to perform surgery.
6. Surgeon uses a Surgical equipment to perform surgery.

Select the Best answer from above. i.e. Single answer. i.e. Radio Button.


Question 2
-----------

1. Surgeon uses a Surgical instrument to perform surgery.
2. Surgeon uses a Surgical machine to perform surgery.
3. Surgeon uses a Surgical device to perform surgery.
4. Surgeon uses a Surgical tool to perform surgery.
5. Surgeon uses a Surgical gadget to perform surgery.
6. Surgeon uses a Surgical equipment to perform surgery.

Select the Best answers from above. i.e. Multiple answers. i.e. Check boxes.

Awaiting your reply,

Thanks & Regards,
Prashant S Akerkar

ANSWER: Dear Prashant:

Can we consider Machine,Device,Gadget,Instrument,Tool,Equipment as Synonyms ?

*** To some extent, these words can be considered synonyms.  However, they are quite different in how they are used AND in how complex [complicated] they are.  For instance, a hammer is a TOOL used by a carpenter.  It is a DEVICE that is included in his EQUIPMENT.  However, a hammer is definitely NOT a MACHINE, since it has no moving parts.  The word INSTRUMENT is somewhat sophisticated for a hammer.  And, a GADGET is a simple tool, used for just one purpose only.  A corkscrew is a GADGET; it is used for nothing but unscrewing corks.  

Which would be most appropriate i.e. Radio Button or if multiple check boxes are
given for the below examples, which would you select ?


For examples :

Question 1
----------------

1. Surgeon uses a Surgical instrument to perform surgery.
2. Surgeon uses a Surgical machine to perform surgery.
3. Surgeon uses a Surgical device to perform surgery.
4. Surgeon uses a Surgical tool to perform surgery.
5. Surgeon uses a Surgical gadget to perform surgery.
6. Surgeon uses a Surgical equipment to perform surgery.

Select the Best answer from above. i.e. Single answer. i.e. Radio Button.

**** Since no radio buttons appear in this message, I will choose the ones that I believe are appropriate:  1, 3, and 4.  "A surgical equipment" is incorrect, from a grammatical point of view.  It is too general.  You would have to name a particular kind of "equipment," such as a scalpel or a laser.


Question 2
-----------

1. Surgeon uses a Surgical instrument to perform surgery.
2. Surgeon uses a Surgical machine to perform surgery.
3. Surgeon uses a Surgical device to perform surgery.
4. Surgeon uses a Surgical tool to perform surgery.
5. Surgeon uses a Surgical gadget to perform surgery.
6. Surgeon uses a Surgical equipment to perform surgery.

Select the Best answers from above. i.e. Multiple answers. i.e. Check boxes.

*** Since this group is the same as the first group, I will not add any more comments.

NOTE:  The occupation of the person quite often determines which word or words you use.  As I mentioned, some instruments are complex or complicated to use, while other are quite simple.
A carpenter's tools are "common" compared to a surgeon's instruments.

My remark about "moving parts" is explained this way:  A mop is a simple tool or gadget.  It is operated by a person, so it is for "manual labor."  On the other hand, a vacuum cleaner is a machine.  It has many working parts, and its power comes from electricity, not from a human source.  A human merely "guides" a vacuum cleaner.

I hope my statements are clear.

Ted Nesbitt  



---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Dear Ted

Thank you.

Can i summarize your answers ?

Regarding Question 1,

Question 1
-----------

1. Surgeons use surgical instrument to perform surgery.
2. Surgeons use surgical machine to perform surgery.
3. Surgeons use surgical device to perform surgery.
4. Surgeons use surgical tool to perform surgery.
5. Surgeons use surgical gadget to perform surgery.
6. Surgeons use surgical equipment to perform surgery.

Your Best Answer would be Option 1.

Regarding Question 2,

Question 2
-----------

1. Surgeons use surgical instrument to perform surgery.
2. Surgeons use surgical machine to perform surgery.
3. Surgeons use surgical device to perform surgery.
4. Surgeons use surgical tool to perform surgery.
5. Surgeons use surgical gadget to perform surgery.
6. Surgeons use surgical equipment to perform surgery.

Your Best Answers would be Option 1,3,4.

Awaiting your reply,

Thanks & Regards,
Prashant S Akerkar

Answer
Dear Prashant:

Can i summarize your answers ?

Regarding Question 1,

Question 1
-----------

1. Surgeons use surgical instrument to perform surgery.
2. Surgeons use surgical machine to perform surgery.
3. Surgeons use surgical device to perform surgery.
4. Surgeons use surgical tool to perform surgery.
5. Surgeons use surgical gadget to perform surgery.
6. Surgeons use surgical equipment to perform surgery.

Your Best Answer would be Option 1.

Regarding Question 2,

Question 2
-----------

1. Surgeons use surgical instrument to perform surgery.
2. Surgeons use surgical machine to perform surgery.
3. Surgeons use surgical device to perform surgery.
4. Surgeons use surgical tool to perform surgery.
5. Surgeons use surgical gadget to perform surgery.
6. Surgeons use surgical equipment to perform surgery.

Your Best Answers would be Option 1,3,4.

**** I would not recommend using ANY of these sentences.  In each sentence, you are using a form of the word "surgery" three times: surgeons, surgical, and surgery.

For BOTH sets, I would write this sentence:  Doctors use instruments to perform surgeries.

"Instruments" best describes the various "tools" used during surgical procedures.

Ted Nesbitt

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Ted Nesbitt

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I am the bibliographic instruction and reference librarian at a public college. Some members of the English department recommend me to their students. I offer assistance in grammar, punctuation, sentence structure, and paragraph development. My master`s thesis concerns William Faulkner`s tragic novels. I formerly taught advanced placement English at two schools in the Philadelphia area.

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I have been one of the highest-ranked volunteers in this category for more than a decade.

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B. A. and M. A in English; MSIS in Library & Information Sciences; graduate study in philosophy

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