I need to translate a line including "taking concrete steps towards sth" with a direct translation. As I took the translation from the dictionary, it doesn't seem to be really used by the native speakers at all. So I paraphrased it as "taking a tangible step" but again the Google results seemed to be belonging to the Turkish sites mostly -as the original language being Turkish.

What do you think about the translation? How does it sound to you? Would you come up with a better one referring to "taking a move with visible effects"?

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    What do you mean by 'As I took the translation from the dictionary, it doesn't seem to be really used by the native speakers at all.'? I don't see why appearance in a dictionary and colloquialness need be mutually exclusive. Jan 14, 2015 at 17:56

1 Answer 1


"Take concrete steps to" is certainly used:

Also, I get plenty of search results for it that aren't from Turkey. Indeed, the Vatican, US, EU and International politics seems to dominate. Google does gear results toward clients so it likely guessed that you would be more interested in Turkish matters than those elsewhere and skewed the results for that reason.

I'd also add that as a native speaker I immediately understand "take concrete steps".

Concrete and tangible are not the same thing. Concrete means they are real (as opposed to political statements that don't amount to anything) while tangible means they can be felt.

While the point of taking a concrete step is that the results be tangible, tangible is a better word for the results of the steps taken, than for the steps themselves.

I'd go with concrete.

  • can you direct me to instructions on inserting n-gram graphs?
    – user98990
    Jan 14, 2015 at 23:27
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    @LittleEva - If you open Jon Hanna's post for editing, you can inspect the code he used. I can see that he has included two links: the first one linking to the page where he generated the Ngram, and the second one for the Ngram image itself (which is preceded by an exclamation mark, as per the instructions I found on the page containing advanced formatting help).
    – Erik Kowal
    Jan 15, 2015 at 4:06
  • Good Lookin' Out! @Erik Kowal
    – user98990
    Jan 15, 2015 at 4:12
  • So, everything concrete is tangible but not everything tangible is concrete; that the formula?
    – user98990
    Jan 15, 2015 at 4:17
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    @LittleEva yes, because concrete = "real" and tangible = "that you could notice", and while both would work tangible would be more often used of the results than the work that got it.
    – Jon Hanna
    Jan 15, 2015 at 9:53

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