Learn English – the right verb for “measurement”


I have to describe the act of measuring, with measurement used as noun. Which verb(s) fit best?

taking a measurement

making a measurement

doing a measurement

carrying out a measurement (suggested by Google translate)

performing a measurement

Does it work the same for the passive form (the measurement has been taken)?

The context:

It provides a […] set of probing points with which it's possible to easily take measurements; these have been carried out using a DC power analyzer …

The action appears twice, hence the need for synonyms.

Funny fact: the difference between "taking" and "making" is also debated in photography (also a form of measuring?), with the difference being in the importance of the operator (if it's there I take it, otherwise I make it).

Best Answer

Most commonly we say to "take a measurement", "make a measurement", or simply to "measure". Either can come in all the different tenses. "Please take some measurements of the temperature." "Yesterday I measured my room so I'd know how much paint to buy." "We will make some measurements of the energy released during the experiment tomorrow."

I don't think I've ever heard a native speaker use any of the other options you give. Maybe in the right context any of them could be valid, but they certainly wouldn't be conventional.

Instead of saying "Take a measuremement of length/temperature/whatever", we often just say "take the temperature", "take the height", etc.

Meauring weight is special: You don't usually say, "We measured the weight of the box", you say, "We weighed the box". I can't think of any other measures like that. No one says, "We lengthed the height" or "We temperatured the liquid". Sometimes we talk about "clocking the speed" rather than "measuring the speed", especially when talking about the speed of a vehicle.