In Portuguese we say à luz de, which is close to based on, but more sophisticated. It is mostly used in academic writings. I'd translate it as in the light of, but I know we can hardly ever translate idioms. Here's a sentence it might apply:

He developed his ideas in the light of Einstein's work.

Can I use this? If not, then could you tell me some ways to say this? Thanks.

  • 1
    "Standing on the shoulders of giants" comes to mind- Feb 19, 2017 at 0:54
  • @Cascabel Like Newton. But that's too strong, and I'm talking about one specific author. It doesn't seem to fit in quite.
    – Patrick
    Feb 19, 2017 at 0:59
  • 2
    Yes, "in the light of" can be used in this way. Feb 19, 2017 at 1:12
  • The only time I can recall this usage in English is from the Herbert book "Dune": "I congratulate you on the perfection of your heir... in the light of the elder, one might say."...and it was ambiguous in context. It is possible there is a usage in academia which is suitable. Feb 19, 2017 at 2:54
  • It's true that many idioms don't jump straight across to another language; but it sometimes surprises me how many do carry over. So don't be afraid to look up your idea in a dictionary of idioms. Feb 19, 2017 at 4:03

2 Answers 2



in the light of

There is no great difference in in the light of and à luz de,

But in English your sentence might better be written:

In the light of Einstein's work, he developed his ideas.

A similar idiom in English in light of , generally means "given the fact(or facts) of":

In light of his confession, he had little defense.


"in the light of something (British & Australian)

also in light of something (American & Australian)

If something is done or happens in the light of facts, it is done or happens because of those facts.

In the light of new evidence he has been allowed to appeal against his prison sentence.

In light of what you've just told me, I can understand why you and David were fighting."


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