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

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Question
Dear WordChannel

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 Akerkar:  

Thank you for writing.

I don't quite understand what you mean by "radio button" or how it applies to the question. To be exact, I don't understand what this means: "Which would be most appropriate i.e. Radio Button or if multiple check boxes are given for the below examples," and I don't know why the same set of questions is listed twice.

I'll choose from your examples to answer this question as well as I can, but please send a follow-up to correct my misunderstanding if that is the case.

Okay!:) First, the words Machine, Device, Gadget, Instrument, Tool, and Equipment can be used as synonyms IF they apply to a certain TYPE of surgery. For example, some surgical tools used for open-heart surgery are very different from those used in hand or arm surgery.

Also, all of your sample sentences are incomplete; you must use the article "A" or "The" before the word "surgeon" in each case.

With that correction, sentences 1-4 would all be correct, but again, each sentence would be deemed correct only when considering the type of surgery. Sentence 5 and the word "gadget" is much less likely to be used in medical writing, but again, I can't rule it out completely because I don't have a context by which to judge how you mean a particular "surgery."

Also, you would say "equipment" -- you would not say "an equipment," as "equipment" is a collective, singular noun.

I hope this helps.

All the best,
Catherine Van Herrin  

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