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    #1

    G A O

    Hello!
    Could you please explain the difference between the nouns "goal", "aim" and "objective".

    Thanx in advance.

  1. #2

    Re: G A O

    They're just three ways to say the same thing. I don't think there are any significant differences.

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    #3

    Re: G A O

    Nobody else wants to comment on the topic?
    Last edited by Jack8rkin; 30-Apr-2010 at 04:57.

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    #4

    Re: G A O

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack8rkin View Post
    Naybody else wants to comment on the topic?
    I guess no one else disagrees with tranglich in this case. That's the usual meaning of a thread ending after one reply.

    Of course, there are some specific differences. For example, if you're playing soccer, you "aim for the goal", you don't "goal for the objective".
    But in broadly general terms, they mean the same.

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    #5

    Re: G A O

    Thanks!
    What I heard is that the "objective" is the nearest thing whereas the "goal" is something global or a long-to-achieve thing. Is that true?

    I still think there might be some tiny little shades of difference in their meaning. When words are absolute synonyms, they are usually lost from the language with time, and here we have three words to denote the same thing.
    Last edited by Jack8rkin; 30-Apr-2010 at 05:31.

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    #6

    Re: G A O

    There are two more words to add to the group - purpose and target.

    IMO, objectives are broader, more general and less specific than aims. And aims are less specific than goals.
    Goal or target is more precise. For example, in business, sales targets (goals) are quantified - to achieve a yearly sales of $xxxx.

    not a teacher

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    #7

    Re: G A O

    Yes, there are slight differences in usage. But you learn these with experience. It's impossible for a teacher to go through all possible scenarios and say which word they would use.
    To get a range of answers for questions like this, you could post a series of sentences, like:
    Our ___ in this paper is to confirm Smith's 2001 study.
    (I would use 'aim, goal, objective' here, but not 'purpose, target'.)

    I don't agree with tedtmc's specificity order though. Most of these orderings come about because students demand them rather than because they exist.

    ==============
    Cambridge.
    Definition

    goal noun ( AIM )

    /gəʊl//goʊl/ n [C]

    an aim or purpose
    =====================

    A goal is an aim is a purpose a/t Cambridge.

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    #8

    Re: G A O

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymott View Post
    To get a range of answers for questions like this, you could post a series of sentences, like:

    Our ___ in this paper is to confirm Smith's 2001 study.
    (I would use 'aim, goal, objective' here, but not 'purpose, target'.)

    You could reword that and say:
    The purpose of this paper is to confirm Smith's 2001 study. Can't you?

    .

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    #9

    Re: G A O

    Originally Posted by Raymott
    To get a range of answers for questions like this, you could post a series of sentences, like:

    Our ___ in this paper is to confirm Smith's 2001 study.
    (I would use 'aim, goal, objective' here, but not 'purpose, target'.)

    You could reword that and say:
    The purpose of this paper is to confirm Smith's 2001 study. Can't you?

    Of course.

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