I am confused as to exactly what a local base at zero (l.b.z.) tells us about a topology. The definition given in Rudin is the following: "An l.b.z. is a collection G of open sets containing zero such that if O is any open set containing zero, there is an element of G contained in O". Ok, great. But I have seen some proofs in my functional analysis class that suggest something like the following: Any open set in the topology can be formed by taking unions (possibly uncountable) of *translations* of sets in a l.b.z. Is this true, or am I just missing something?