Please, explain the meaning of the phrase "in these cases use is the best guide". I can't find it in a dictionary. No context. thanks in advance)

  • 1
    "Using whatever it is is the best way to see how it works" would be my guess.
    – Martin
    Commented Oct 27, 2014 at 17:06
  • 2
    Idiomatically, we normally say usage is the best guide. That's 64 hits in Google Books, all of which seem to match the context here (none of the 67 hits for use is the best guide are relevant to this context). It means you should study at other people's usage to gain an understanding of some feature of language (or whatever is being spoken of). Commented Oct 27, 2014 at 17:52

1 Answer 1


The above two answers are good. However, maybe I can answer with simple examples as follows:

"in these cases the best guide is to use them (or try them out) to see which is the best".

Or use IT to see which is the best one. Say, on a golf club, where the golfer might use one golf club, decides by using the first one that it is not the correct one, and changes for another.

He is guided in his decision by trying out different types of golf club, i.e. by using them.

You can't decide which of two different screw drivers to use to remove a screw. You have a small one, and a larger one. You try using them both on the screw. By USING them both, you are GUIDED to the correct answer.

I hope this helps you.

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