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  1. #1
    Gepardu is offline Newbie
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    Question meaning of 'pick up' in...

    U.S. intelligence picked up on the group

    is the same as: they observed the group?

  2. #2
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    Default Re: meaning of 'pick up' in...

    More context would help.

  3. #3
    Gepardu is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: meaning of 'pick up' in...

    Ok, it goes like that:

    According to U.S. officials familiar with the case, al-Qaida had a hand in the abduction. His disappearance was followed by two years of negotiation and then a trade. The Iranian diplomat was swapped for key al-Qaida members, including al-Adel. U.S. intelligence picked up on the group in North Waziristan late last year — they reunited with al-Qaida and took up key leadership roles.

  4. #4
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    BobK is offline Harmless drudge
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    Default Re: meaning of 'pick up' in...

    The useful thing about a verb like 'pick up' is that it means many different things - some of which - maybe - are not sources that the authorities want to admit to using. They observed the group, questioned other people, drew conclusions from monitoring news programmes...

    b

  5. #5
    Gepardu is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: meaning of 'pick up' in...

    Thanks for Your effort! That was a helpful information for me ;) Next time I will keep trying to be more elastic in my translations on the 'pick ups' and other verbs like that.

  6. #6
    SoothingDave is online now VIP Member
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    Default Re: meaning of 'pick up' in...

    I think it can be read as "they became aware of" this group. Think of scanning a radio. This is what the intelligence community is supposed to be doing. Then they "picked up" the existence of this group and began surveillance.

  7. #7
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: meaning of 'pick up' in...

    I think it's becoming aware of/starting to learn about too.

  8. #8
    Kathleen Shuster is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: meaning of 'pick up' in...

    Yes, it means they have become aware of them!
    Check out my blog for more tips at <<advertising link removed>>

    Kathleen
    Last edited by Barb_D; 22-Aug-2011 at 02:11.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: meaning of 'pick up' in...

    Quote Originally Posted by Kathleen Shuster View Post
    Yes, it means they have become aware of them!
    Check out my blog for more tips at [link removed]

    Kathleen
    If you are answering questions here, it is is better to answer them here, rather than just use a question as a chance to promote your site.
    Last edited by Tdol; 22-Aug-2011 at 11:14.

  10. #10
    britintheUS is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: meaning of 'pick up' in...

    Yes, I would definitely say that the " picked up on" in your context that you provided would be that they "tracked" the group or "located their whereabouts".

    Also, "found them out".

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