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I have to describe the act of measuring, with measurement used as noun. Which verb(s) fit best?

taking a measurement

making a measurement

doing a measurement

carrying out a measurement (suggested by Google translate)

performing a measurement

Does it work the same for the passive form (the measurement has been taken)?

The context:

It provides a [...] set of probing points with which it's possible to easily take measurements; these have been carried out using a DC power analyzer ...

The action appears twice, hence the need for synonyms.

Funny fact: the difference between "taking" and "making" is also debated in photography (also a form of measuring?), with the difference being in the importance of the operator (I take it if it's already there, I make it if it's in my mind, somehow).

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1  
I think they all work, although do sounds more informal than the others, and so not appropriate for a scientific paper, and carry out has the connotation of needing to perform a complicated procedure to make the measurement. –  Peter Shor May 21 '12 at 13:09
    
@PeterShor well in this case it was complicated :) –  clabacchio May 21 '12 at 13:15
    
Sometimes one can take a measure of some quantity but, that terminology is indicative of somthing less measurable i.e. the strength of enemy forces or a man's charachter. –  Jodrell May 21 '12 at 16:37
    
What's wrong with "the measuring of..." –  Mitch May 21 '12 at 17:16
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...to measure a measurement. –  Double AA May 21 '12 at 17:35

4 Answers 4

up vote 4 down vote accepted

Most commonly we say to "take a measurement", "make a measurement", or simply to "measure". Either can come in all the different tenses. "Please take some measurements of the temperature." "Yesterday I measured my room so I'd know how much paint to buy." "We will make some measurements of the energy released during the experiment tomorrow."

I don't think I've ever heard a native speaker use any of the other options you give. Maybe in the right context any of them could be valid, but they certainly wouldn't be conventional.

Instead of saying "Take a measuremement of length/temperature/whatever", we often just say "take the temperature", "take the height", etc.

Meauring weight is special: You don't usually say, "We measured the weight of the box", you say, "We weighed the box". I can't think of any other measures like that. No one says, "We lengthed the height" or "We temperatured the liquid". Sometimes we talk about "clocking the speed" rather than "measuring the speed", especially when talking about the speed of a vehicle.

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Taking sounds best to my ear. And yes, the measurement has been taken is the passive form.

Alternate forms:

  • I took the measurement this morning.
  • We should have measured this couch before attempting to move it.
  • I cannot measure this without outside calipers.
  • She is measuring the flour for the cookies.
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verb+MEASUREMENT (from The Oxford Collocations Dictionary, 2009)

calculate

carry out

get

make

obtain

perform

record

take

convert

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Equipment make measurements. People take measurements.

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This answer has already been given. –  tchrist Sep 6 at 18:13

protected by tchrist Sep 6 at 18:13

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