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    #1

    resolve a problem/solve a problem

    Hi everyone,
    What should I say "to resolve a problem" or "to solve a problem"?
    Are they both acceptable?
    Thanks.

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    #2

    Re: resolve a problem/solve a problem

    ......student....
    I guess they are kind of synonymous depending on the context. So both are correct without further context.

    "solve:

    to find an answer to a problem:to solve a problem
    to solve a mystery/puzzle
    Just calm down - shouting won't solve anything!
    This strategy could cause more problems than it solves.
    Police are still no nearer to solving the crime."

    "resolve:
    to solve or end a problem or difficulty:
    Have you resolved the problem of transport yet?
    The couple resolved their differences and made an effort to get along."

  1. Grumpy's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: resolve a problem/solve a problem

    They have very similar meanings when used together with the word "problem".
    However, "solving" is often used when the problem is academic, mathematical, or mechanical; whereas, "resolving" tends to be used when the problem relates to human differences and/or emotions.
    Thus, "I couldn't get the top off the can, but I solved the problem by drilling a hole in it", compared with "We always fought over who should get first pick of the chocolates, so we resolved the problem by buying a box each".
    I'm not a teacher of English, but I have spoken it for (almost) all of my life....

  2. 5jj's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: resolve a problem/solve a problem

    Quote Originally Posted by sumonthelost View Post
    "solve:

    to find an answer to a problem:to solve a problem
    to solve a mystery/puzzle
    Just calm down - shouting won't solve anything!
    This strategy could cause more problems than it solves.
    Police are still no nearer to solving the crime."

    "resolve:
    to solve or end a problem or difficulty:
    Have you resolved the problem of transport yet?
    The couple resolved their differences and made an effort to get along."
    If you are quoting from a published source, please credit your source, sumonthelost

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