English Idioms


I have sometimes seen "do an observation" and "make an obsertavion"
I have concluded from my own reflexion that :

"Do an observation" is used when you stay somewhere, observe, maybe take notes and say nothing.

"Make an observation" is used when you inticate to someone in writing/speaking something you have observed.

Am I right ?



  • Sorry "observation" in first line and "indicate" in fourth paragraph
  • Hello Antonio,
    To make a remark sure is to make an observation.

    Yesterday in my country there was a dark night, most public lights were switched off. Astronomers had a field day with "taking observations".
    That's confirmed by my Robert&Collins which mentions that astronomers take observations.
    But a common bastard of my kind can just ask to himself: How can I do observation? (observation in general)
    However I think that in some cases one can make observations in the sense of watching. That's what I find out in the Webster.

    You see your remark made me seek a bit.
    Some more experienced English speakers might tell us more.
    Spend your Sunday con brio, Antonio.
    Your bastard.
  • Hello,

    The word "observations" got two different meanings:

    - to think about something or on something = to make observations

    - to watch somebody or something = to do observations or to take observations or "the police keeps him under observation"

  • Hi both of you,
    Thanks for your comments that confirms in some way what I assumed in my first intervention, isn’t it ?

    “To make an observation” is a way of expressing one’s thoughts or knowledge’s.
    “To do or take an observation” is a way of filling one’s thoughts or knowledge’s.

    And I suppose it is not impossible to make observations while doing/taking observations.
    Yesterday in my country there was a dark night, I was outside with a friend doing/taking an observation. Suddenly I said : don’t you think this star is brighter than this other ? (I was making an observation)

    Any other suggestion ?
  • Whoa Antonio!
    With observations you turned pro.
    At least I think so.

    (CS) line 2 : confirm, don't they? (not sure that 'isn't it?' couldn't come in informal conversation??? I don't know. Though I do care!)

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