Formulation is he process and result of formulating (indicate, declare or express something; explain it with precise words). From this definition, we can understand what the concept of reformulation, even when the term is not part of the dictionary prepared by the Royal Spanish Academy (RAE).
For this we can first observe the prefix re-, whose presence indicates that the reformulation is do something again. In other words, when a person carries out this action, he does so based on a previous formulation, also of his own.
It can be indicated that a reformulation consists of the introduction of changes. For example, if a scientist reformulates a theory, what it does is add or eliminate postulates according to the new evidence that it has discovered.
The reformulation of a tournament football, for its part, implies modifying the format of the competition. A tournament of twenty teams that play 19 games each can be reformulated so that forty teams begin to compete, facing each other in a match and revenge.
In certain contexts, rephrasing may be about saying the same thing again but with other words. An Argentine can enter a store in Spain and ask for a “mobile”: before the seller’s bewilderment, reformulate the query and ask for a “mobile phone”, since that is the concept used in Spain to refer to the device known in Argentina as “mobile”.
In the latter case, we can see that reformulating does not always consist of modifying the essence of something, but it can also be a change in the way of communicating.
Reformulation is a process that offers us the possibility of transforming one message into another, so that communication is effective in any context. For this, it is not enough to know the syntax rules, but we must develop the ability to choose the appropriate words and structures for each situation, for each interlocutor, since a correct text is also one that can be understood and used.
From our student stage, we learn almost unconsciously to reformulate our words and those of others: when we try to express a idea and we go through the same sentence several times, changing words or structures, until we find the clearest version of our explanation, or when the need arises to summarize what another person has said, orally or in writing, we are putting into practice this essential communication skill.
Reformulation can be carried out following various strategies, one of which is the substitution. It is about presenting a portion of text (which can be a sentence or a paragraph) or an entire text in another way, without the information looks altered; in other words, no data should be added or removed from the source. For this we can resort to:
* synonyms: it is the resource that we use the most to reformulate a sentence, although sometimes finding the right word is more difficult than it seems. For example, while it is correct to state that blow Y beating they are synonymous, they cannot be used interchangeably in any situation;
* hyperonyms: are the terms whose meaning includes that of others, as with piece of furniture, which encompasses the concepts table, chair, armchair Y closet, for example;
* the pronouns: broadly speaking, these are those words that can designate a thing without naming it directly. For example, we can say that «I put the bag on the desk»Is another way of saying«I put it on the desk«, Provided that the context allow us to understand what “it” refers to;
* the paraphrase: when we cannot find a synonym, a hyperonym or a pronoun that allows us to reformulate, we can always construct a sentence that has the same meaning as the original. For example, “they dug for hours»Can be replaced by«they dug wells for hours«.