Remove and Delete

The meanings of Remove and Delete are quite similar to each other, referring to the general action of separating something from another thing. In most cases, we translate the word Remove as 删除 like the word Delete.

Eg. Please remove the button from the panel.


Please remove it from the filtering list.


However, in some cases, if the verb Delete and Remove appear together, you should pay attention to them. In an essay or paragraph, the author may use the verbs Delete and Remove alternatively to describe the deleting action to prevent unpleasant monotonous narration to its readers. And sometimes you should separate the two words and give a different translation to the word Remove: 移除。

Take a music player for example, if you right click the playlist with your mouse, and find Remove and Delete option appears in the right-click menu, and how will you translate them? Still translate both of the Remove and Delete as 删除?If so, the menu would become rather confusing. In this case, you should translate Remove as 移除 and Delete as 删除.

With the Remove option in the right-click menu, you can remove the song from the playlist, and the music file still remains where it was.

With the Delete option in the right-click menu, you can delete the song from the playlist and delete the music file from where it was, eg. local disk, removable disk or other portable devices.

Actually the two operations are quite different, as you see.

Slight difference may cause big trouble if we do not pay attention to that.

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