upon closer examination

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ggomad

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Please take a look at the following question.

The investigators found the evidence purely circumstantial upon __________ examination.

(a) closed (b) closer (c) closes (d) closing

My book indicates B as an answer. I thought it was D with a slight modification, putting 'the' before 'examination'. That is, 'upon closing the examination'.

I thought this would better fit because it is frequently used structure; 'upon(on)+gerund'.

Now, after a search in Google engine, I came to realize that 'upon closer examination' is used more frequently. I searched many dictionaries but failed to find any related usage to this.

Is the expression 'upon closer examination' a common expression so that I should just accept it and memorize it, or,

Is it that the structural phrase, 'upon closing the examination', can still be as good as 'upon closer examination' in the above context?

Kindly help me.
 

Francois

Senior Member
Joined
Jun 15, 2004
Yes, "on/upon closer examination" is fairly common. It means you probably looked better at something, or that the appearances may have been deceiving -- until you took a closer look.
"closing" doesn't fit here. You don't "close" the examination, you just examine something more thoroughly.

FRC
 
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ggomad

Guest
Thanks for strengthening my 'new awakening'. What still lingers in my mind is whether the expression "upon closing the examination" does not make sense at all.

Here, 'upon' means immediately after, and 'examination' is the same as investigation.
Then, I believe that 'upon closing the examination' is almost the same as 'immediately after they completed the investigation', which I think would make perfect sense.

Any more advice on this, please?
 

Francois

Senior Member
Joined
Jun 15, 2004
Well, that's not what the expression means. Again, "close" means that you came closer (nearer), not that something has been closed.
Also, you don't open or close an examination, at least not in the sense of the "upon closer examination". Eg. the bank note looked normal, but upon closer examination it appeared to be a counterfeit. You can't talk of an investigation here; the whole thing took perhaps one minute.

FRC
 
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ggomad

Guest
Thanks again, FRC. Thanks also for the example sentence. I now know fully the meaning of 'upon closer examination'. I now know the correct answer is B(closer). That is the end. Now,

Consider this sentence :
The investigators found the evidence purely circumstantial "upon closing the examination."

I want you to consider whether this sentence itself makes sense or not. If not, tell me kindly why without going back to 'upon closer examination'.
 
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