The etymology from examine takes us to the Latin word I will examine. The term refers to investigate or analyze something carefully. For instance: “Before allowing people to re-enter the building, the engineers will be in charge of examining the structure to determine if it is safe or not”, “I will examine all the documents and then I will make a decision”, “The government promised to examine the request of rural workers”.
The action of examining is carried out to know details or to know precisely characteristics or qualities. It is not the same to see a car as to examine it: a person sees a vehicle when he detects it with his vision. Examining the car in question, on the other hand, requires observing it carefully, looking at its engine, studying the bodywork, etc. If someone intends to buy a car, before deciding to buy it, they will probably examine it.
A exam is a tool that allows you to examine someone’s knowledge or condition. A teacher takes him exam to a student to evaluate if he studied and assimilated certain contents. A doctorOn the other hand, you can examine a patient who says he feels bad to try to discover what is the cause of his discomfort.
In many contexts, examining is a must-have act. An investigator attempting to solve a murder must examine the crime scene to collect the tests that allow you to find the person responsible, to cite one case. Likewise, a lawyer has to examine the documentation brought to him by the victim of a scam to determine the best strategy to follow.
There are several nuances that differentiate the action examine from look or watch, among others that may be related depending on the context. As mentioned above, it all starts with the verb watch, which we do involuntarily with our eyes as long as we have them open and there is a sufficient light source: we constantly capture images, regardless of whether we understand them or are interested in them. On the other hand, if we want to use our sight voluntarily, the other two actions come into play.
Look is the first one that arises after watch, if we group them according to the degree of knowledge or understanding necessary to carry them out; for instance: we see an object that we do not know or a text that we cannot read and we decide look at it for a few seconds because the attention. However, if we already have some tools to understand it, then it is likely that let’s observe, that is to say that we follow it with our eyes for a longer time and in greater detail.
At the highest point of this scale comes examine, an action that we carry out if we believe we are capable of doing something with its results, for which a knowledge previous. The previous examples speak of professionals who examine cases or proposals to decide their plan of action, of teachers who test their students to see if they have incorporated the knowledge they have been taught, of entrepreneurs who evaluate the aptitudes of applicants to a certain position and to detectives who carefully study the clues of a case to come up with a logical explanation.
This action is also used in the field of adventure video games, a genre in which it is very important to know in detail the settings and objects that we come across throughout history. In these titles, it is common that the main character can perform a series of actions typical of real life, and “examine” is one of the most common, since it is from them that the player can decide their next step.