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    #1

    intervene vs interpose

    Is there any different in meanings between the two of them? I once had to take a test with a question like this:
    The company directors asked the government to....................... in the dispute and prevent a strike
    A) intervene
    B) interpose

    I forgot which answer I was given (A perhaps? If it's incorrect then please notify me) but I do recall when I looked both of these 2 words up, their meanings is almost identical. How can I differentiate between them?

  1. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: intervene vs interpose

    Quote Originally Posted by vkhu View Post
    Is there any different in meanings between the two of them? I once had to take a test with a question like this:
    The company directors asked the government to....................... in the dispute and prevent a strike
    A) intervene
    B) interpose

    I forgot which answer I was given (A perhaps? If it's incorrect then please notify me) but I do recall when I looked both of these 2 words up, their meanings is almost identical. How can I differentiate between them?
    Well, the most common word is "intervene" - I would say that is the most common word used whenever we say someone has to come between two parties who can't agree. However, given that the second definition of "interpose" is "intervene between parties", I don't see why it shouldn't be used. Having said that, if I saw it, I would probably wonder why the writer hadn't just said "intervene".

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    #3

    Re: intervene vs interpose

    Quote Originally Posted by emsr2d2 View Post
    Well, the most common word is "intervene" - I would say that is the most common word used whenever we say someone has to come between two parties who can't agree. However, given that the second definition of "interpose" is "intervene between parties", I don't see why it shouldn't be used. Having said that, if I saw it, I would probably wonder why the writer hadn't just said "intervene".
    So does that mean both is acceptable but in exams, I should always go with intervene?

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    #4

    Re: intervene vs interpose

    People speak of government intervention, not of interposing. So, while the dictionary may give similar definitions, I don't think you really see the words used interchangeably.

    To me to "intervene" is to try to make some change to a situation. The gov't intervenes in a labor dispute, to try to resolve it. It intervenes in a war zone to bring about peace (or cease fire, anyway).

    People have "interventions" to try to save a loved one from an addiction.

    "Interposing" to me just means to separate. To put some obstacle or barrier between.

  2. bhaisahab's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: intervene vs interpose

    Quote Originally Posted by vkhu View Post
    Is there any difference in meaning between the two of them? I once had to take a test with a question like this:
    The company directors asked the government to....................... in the dispute and prevent a strike
    A) intervene
    B) interpose

    I forgot which answer I was given (A perhaps? If it's incorrect then please notify me) but I do recall when I looked both of these 2 words up, their meanings is almost identical. How can I differentiate between them?
    Bhai

  3. BobK's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: intervene vs interpose

    Quote Originally Posted by vkhu View Post
    So does that mean both is acceptable but in exams, I should always go with intervene?
    emsr2d2 was being generous - unwisely, I think - in saying she couldn't think of a reason for not choosing 'interposition'. I can (): interposition is not coming between, but occupying a position between. If two people are shaping up for a fight, the interposition of a third party might help keep the peace - but by keeping them apart. Intervention often involves helping them reach an agreement.

    Use intervention.

    b

  4. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: intervene vs interpose

    Quote Originally Posted by BobK View Post
    emsr2d2 was being generous - unwisely, I think - in saying she couldn't think of a reason for not choosing 'interposition'. I can (): interposition is not coming between, but occupying a position between. If two people are shaping up for a fight, the interposition of a third party might help keep the peace - but by keeping them apart. Intervention often involves helping them reach an agreement.

    Use intervention.

    b
    Fair point. I only based it on the definition of "interpose" as "intervene between parties". I can entirely see the difference in your examples.

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