In the sentences below:

Quora was established in 2009.

Quora was founded in 2009.

They seem interchangeable in the sentences above. I was told that 'found' was informal form of 'establish', is that correct? How do you differentiate them?


  1. considering these two words are put into specific sentences in comparion to each other and;

  2. more importantly, the answer of the other related question seemed didn't have a explaination and conclusion regarding their difference.

  3. their synonym causing many confusion in English usage and it's so hard that even my English teacher couldn't find any difference in usage, if this question regarding their difference is closed again, its confusion might never be solved.

Therefore, please give this question a chance so the difference of their synonym could be clear up , thanks.

  • I would use founded only if the person or persons who established Quora call themselves founders. (Which they apparently do) – Jim Jul 2 '17 at 2:43
  • thanks. what's the difference between them if there is any? – user239460 Jul 2 '17 at 2:54
  • @Omid Reza Abbasi although both in same title, the content of the questions are quite difference, and the answers of the other question seems didn't have a conclusion about their difference. – user239460 Jul 2 '17 at 7:13

Your question would be these, I suppose?

1.What is the difference between “found” and “establish”? 2.Is it correct that 'found' = informal form of 'establish' 3.How do you differentiate 'found' and 'establish'?

Quora was established in 2009. -> I often imagine that when you say 'establish', it's kind of an 'establishment', something that is firm and stable. Furthermore, it also carries the meaning of **'a setting up or consolidating something'** (in this context, a business or a company) on a permanent basis. 

From the etymology I looked up establish, the result came out:

late 14c., from Old French establiss-, present participle stem of establir "cause to stand still, establish, stipulate, set up, erect, build" (12c., Modern French établir), from Latin stabilire "make stable," from stabilis "stable"

'Establish' also carries a meaning: make something known and accepted For example: His position in the organization is now firmly established. You cannot say his position is 'founded' in this sentence.

Establish also carries the meaning of make certain of something For example: Police are still trying to establish the identity You cannot say the police are still trying to found the identity.

Quora was founded in 2009. -> While on the other hand, when 'found' comes out, I often imagine that you set up something from ground up. The focus is on the 'building from the basis/ground.'

From the etymology I looked up the word 'found':

found (v.1) Look up found at Dictionary.com "lay the basis of, establish," late 13c., from Old French fonder "found, establish; set, place; fashion, make" (12c.), from Latin fundare "to lay the bottom or foundation" of something, from fundus "bottom, foundation" (see fund (n.)). Related: Founded; founding. Phrase founding fathers with reference to the creators of the American republic is attested from 1916. It is focused on the ‘bottom, base’.

From this we can infer that the focus and the objective of the verbs are rather different, while those are synonymous, and in some cases are interchangeable, in some cases, it is not.

Example: ‘the company's fortunes are founded on its minerals business’ -> you can't say established here. 'Who are the founding fathers of America? -> you can't say establishing here.

According to the Webster: to establish (something) often with provision for future maintenance found an institution

And found can also mean: : to melt (a material, such as metal) and pour into a mold

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  • 1
    @user239460 I'm on my way right now, I'm going to sum it up a bit later. – Flonne Jul 3 '17 at 14:02
  • thanks. would you add a summary of it(its difference) in the end of your answer? i still waiting. – user239460 Jul 12 '17 at 17:44

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