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When should I use which?

E.g.:

To use something.

vs

To make use of something.

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1 Answer

up vote 2 down vote accepted

Technically they are the same but there is perhaps a slight implication with the latter that the something in questions is not being used, being underused, or would henceforth not be used and that one is taking advantage of an opportunity. For example:

I used the eggs.

pretty straight forward.

I made use of the eggs.

implies, perhaps that they would have gone bad had I not used them or that no use had been thought of previously.

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I agree. If you can just "use" something, its purpose is clear. If you "make use" of it, there is some creativity involved - you're finding a use for the object. –  onomatomaniak Oct 9 '11 at 7:35
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