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To determine something is to identify or find the reason something happens:

  • Doctors have determined the cause of the man’s illness.
  • A plumber is trying to determine where the leak in the pipe is coming from.
  • The mechanic looked at my car and determined the reason it was making noise.
  • How much money you make determines the amount you pay in income taxes.

As an adjective, if a person is determined, he or she is focused on achieving a goal through hard work and perseverance:

  • Tommy is determined to get better grades in school.
  • The company is determined to make a profit this year.
  • We all admire Joe because he’s so determined to do well at work.

The word "determination" is a noun:

  • Through sheer determination, the rescuers were able to save ten people from a house hit by the earthquake.
  • It requires grit and determination to be a successful business owner.
  • Despite financial difficulties and a personal crisis, the young woman’s determination helped get her through college.


He’s determined to become a great guitarist.

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May 4, 2015



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