Referring to this lexico definition of from, I'm aware of the usages 3 (Indicating the source or provenance of someone or something) and 6 (Indicating the raw material out of which something is manufactured).

I wanted to reassure myself by asking you if these interpretations of 'from' can also be applied to cases like the following? My understanding of the sentences comes after the equality sign (=):

  1. This parameter was computed from experimental data = Experimental data was used to compute this parameter.
  2. The model was created from experimentally measured data that served to parameterise Equation 10 = Experimental measured data that served to parameterise Equation 10 was used to create the model
  • 2
    Sense 10: Indicating a source of knowledge or the basis for one's judgement... ‘The data obtained from the analysis of polar structure is illustrated in Table XIV.’... ‘Data on birth characteristics were obtained from the Danish medical birth registry.’ Feb 13, 2020 at 15:32
  • 1
    These are even better examples:-)
    – ExOrbitant
    Feb 13, 2020 at 15:38

2 Answers 2


In both those cases I would write using. For example "This model was created using experimental data" I would say this because the model does not consist of the data but of algorithms and computational routines developed to reflect the relationships between the experimental data to calculate outcomes.

This is different from "This omelette was made from free range eggs" (the omlette consists of the proteins, fats and other nutrients making up the eggs, just in a different physical form) and "This house was built from local stone" (the walls consist of actual lumps of stone)

  • Thanks for your input. I see where your point is coming from; it‘s definitely valid. Yet, I wanted to enrich my text by using different words and phrases. Otherwise, every second sentence contains a word like use, utilise, employ, make use of, etc. in a scientific document. That makes reading not really enjoyable, which I think is important apart from getting your main message across. I love English so I try to improve it every day as a non-native.
    – ExOrbitant
    Feb 13, 2020 at 17:14
  • But one would quite naturally say something like "I created the sauce from a handwritten recipe left by my grandmother". Absolutely no one would take that to mean that the sauce included a piece of paper and ink as ingredients - only if they were being facetious. The OP's use of "from" seems perfectly idiomatic to me. However I'm not saying there is anything wrong with your use of "using".
    – WS2
    Feb 13, 2020 at 20:18
  • @ws2 That's a very valid point but I think it's different from the OP's computer model. After all "I built this model spitfire from a design in a magazine" would probably mean that the speaker had followed the published design using wood, plastic, glue and tissue paper but might also mean that they had actually built a model F16 and covered it with the pages of the magazine that had the spitfire design printed on it.
    – BoldBen
    Feb 14, 2020 at 19:33
  • @ExOrbitant You could also say "The model was created on the basis of experimental data.
    – BoldBen
    Feb 14, 2020 at 19:43
  • I agree with this answer, "using" is the word. You can't really compute from data, but you can compute using data. Nov 15, 2020 at 19:35

Yes. Your understanding is good. The overarching meaning of from indicates the origin of its object.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.