Should I write:

Synthesize thing one with thing two.


"Synthesize thing one and thing two"?


With or and?

This is "idea x". I synthesized "idea y" with "idea z".


This is "idea x". I synthesized "idea y" and "idea z".

  • Did you find any relevant examples from dictionary entries for "synthesize"?
    – herisson
    Aug 30, 2016 at 0:35
  • 2
    What kinds of "things" are you talking about? The philosophical synthesis of ideas? Chemical synthesis? Something else? Chemists usually talk about synthesizing from. Aug 30, 2016 at 0:48
  • Please edit your question to include some examples. It is unclear what your context is. Stack Exchange expects answers to be authoritative, which in turn requires questions to be clear.
    – Lawrence
    Aug 30, 2016 at 1:32
  • I strongly suspect that you do not understand the meaning of "synthesize".
    – Hot Licks
    Aug 30, 2016 at 2:13
  • @Hot Licks Please synthesize your suspicion with (or and?) data. That would be helpful.
    – sun ra
    Aug 30, 2016 at 2:26

3 Answers 3


When it comes to ideas, I found that sometimes either version was used. However, synthesize X and Y was slightly more popular across the board, and even had hits when synthesize X with Y had nothing.

To avoid false positives, I tested ideologies specifically with Google Ngram: synthesize ______ with vs synthesize ______ and. You can check these links to see the graphs:

Both and & or:

And (but not or):

I'm not entirely sure why Christianity and Marxism are different than the others.

  • It's a remarkably good choice, using religions to explore this topic. Such a query has mostly kept out things that are results of synthesis (as you don't usually see something like "Christianity is synthesis of Jesus' thought" ) and the only results that it returns talk of combining one religion with other.
    – R.S.
    Aug 30, 2016 at 3:10

Your intention is somewhat unclear. Synthesize means to make something by combining or creating. The first sentence creates a new thing by mixing one with two. The second means you create two different things. (Unless you were trying to say "synthesize thing three by synthesizing one, then two, then mix them together." In which case, you should say so.) You can also synthesize (produce / create) one thing chemically, for instance, which would also imply you're using other chemicals.


I read the question as "what preposition or conjunction goes with synthesize?"

As far as I know, synthesize is more common with single items, weather end products or ingredients. For instance He succeeded in synthesizing glucose, or "Synthesize Knowledge into Understanding. 1

The use of synthesize involving individual ingredients is less common. However, it's not entirely absent. Here's an example from Wordnet : his operas synthesize music and drama in perfect harmony 2

  • This is an interesting take on the question. Can you please also link to your quotes?
    – Lawrence
    Aug 30, 2016 at 1:26
  • Added links to sources of these sentences. First one is to a book on google books, so might load slow for some people. I'd actually have liked to link google results for a query like "synthesize * with * and *" but in this case it does not help much.
    – R.S.
    Aug 30, 2016 at 1:47
  • @R.S. Isn't the "music and drama" the product of synthesis -as opposed to "ingredients"?
    – sun ra
    Aug 30, 2016 at 2:45
  • @sunra - "ingredients" is more for physical stuff like chemicals, food ... It would be a bit weird and affected usage to apply 'ingredients' to describe music. You can, as R.S. points out, "synthesize an idea" but it would also be a bit odd to say synthesize a musical or drama --- unless it was computer generated or you used the musical instruments called "synthesizers" to produce the sound. Where RS gives the example of "... synthesize music and drama ..." it's more in the sense of putting the two ideas together - not the physical act of production. Aug 30, 2016 at 2:57
  • yeah.. i intended to put ingredients in quotes but forgot for some reason
    – R.S.
    Aug 30, 2016 at 2:59

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