Is It Correct to Say “Discuss About”?

Marcus Froland

Many people trip over their words when trying to communicate in English. It’s a language filled with nuances and exceptions that sometimes don’t make sense, even to native speakers. One common stumble involves the phrase “discuss about.” You’ve probably heard it in conversations or seen it in written communications. But is it grammatically correct? The answer isn’t as straightforward as you might think.

The English language is a tricky beast. Just when you think you’ve got a rule down pat, an exception comes along and throws everything into disarray. This article aims to shed light on the use of “discuss” and “about” together. Is it a linguistic faux pas, or have we been too rigid in our understanding of English grammar rules? By the end of this piece, you’ll have a clearer understanding—but we won’t give away the ending just yet.

In English, the correct way to talk about having a conversation on a topic is to say “discuss” and not “discuss about.” The word discuss already means to talk about something. Adding “about” after discuss is redundant and not needed. For example, you should say, “Let’s discuss our plans,” instead of “Let’s discuss about our plans.” This rule helps keep your language clear and direct. Remember, using discuss correctly will make your English sound more natural.

Understanding the Verb “Discuss” in English Grammar

To fully comprehend the proper use of the verb “discuss,” it is essential to have a solid understanding of English grammar, especially in regards to transitive verbs, direct objects, and sentence structure. By avoiding common grammar mistakes, you can ensure proper verb usage and master various verb-preposition combinations.

The Role of Direct Objects Following Transitive Verbs

In English grammar, transitive verbs require a direct object to complete their meaning. The direct object is usually a noun or a phrase that immediately follows the verb, providing clarity about what the action is being done to or with. For instance:

She opened the book.

In this sentence, “opened” is a transitive verb, and “book” is its direct object. The correct usage of transitive verbs, like “discuss,” does not necessitate the addition of the word “about” before the direct object. The verb’s meaning is complete when it is followed immediately by the noun or phrase serving as the direct object.

Common Mistakes with the Use of “Discuss” in Sentences

One common grammar mistake related to the verb “discuss” is the addition of the unnecessary preposition “about” in the sentence. For example, let’s consider the following sentences:

  • Incorrect: We discussed about the issue.
  • Correct: We discussed the issue.
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In the incorrect sentence, the preposition “about” is paired with the verb “discuss,” creating redundancy and making the sentence grammatically incorrect. On the other hand, the correct sentence demonstrates proper usage where the verb “discuss” is followed directly by the object.

To avoid common grammar mistakes with the use of “discuss” in your sentences, ensure that you state the object of discussion after the verb, without including the preposition “about.” By doing so, you can greatly improve the clarity and accuracy of your communication.

Etymology and Usage of “Discuss” Over Time

Despite fluctuations in language trends, the use of “discuss” has not seen incorrect prepositional pairing becoming popular over time. The etymology of the word discuss can be traced back to the Latin term discutere, which means “to shatter, break up into pieces.” Over time, this term evolved into “discuss,” which is now commonly understood as a means of examining, investigating, or considering something by talking about it.

Although language continues to evolve, the verb “discuss” has maintained its integrity and usage, much like the differentiation between “what” and “which,” where small differences impact meaning significantly. The following graph showcases the rise in the use of “discuss” over time:

“The word’s usage continues to rise, and ‘discuss’ holds a firm place in both written and spoken English.”

Changes in the English language and its influence on global communication have not significantly altered the usage of “discuss.” The correct usage remains “to discuss something” rather than “discuss about something.” Some reasons for this consistent usage pattern may include:

  1. Clear communication: The correct use of “discuss” allows for concise, unambiguous language that effectively conveys the intended meaning.
  2. Language education: English language learners may be taught the proper use of the verb “discuss” in most classrooms and textbooks.
  3. Lexical influence: Similar verbs, such as “describe” and “explain,” which form verb-object constructions without a preposition, may contribute to maintaining the traditional construct in modern usage.

Intricacies of Conversation: Choosing the Right Preposition

In our efforts to communicate effectively, understanding the nuances of preposition usage in English sentence construction is crucial. This section will explore the correct use of “about” with nouns and verbs and offer acceptable alternatives to the incorrect phrase “discuss about.”

When to Use “About” in English Language Construction

The preposition “about” often leads to confusion when combined with certain verbs. While it can be used appropriately with nouns, such as in a discussion about the topic, the same does not hold true for verbs like “discuss.” Appropriate preposition usage connects the verb to the topic of discussion only when the verb itself necessitates such a connection, and “discuss” does not qualify.

Incorrect: The students discussed about the lecture in class.
Correct: The students discussed the lecture in class.

Acceptable Alternatives to “Discuss About”

To avoid the common error of using “discuss about,” consider these language alternatives that maintain proper grammar and effectively convey the intent of communication:

  1. Have a discussion about
  2. Talk about
  3. Discuss (followed directly by the object)
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For instance, instead of saying “The manager wanted to discuss about the new policy”, you could rephrase the sentence as follows:

  • The manager wanted to have a discussion about the new policy.
  • The manager wanted to talk about the new policy.
  • The manager wanted to discuss the new policy.

Combining these alternatives with a broader understanding of preposition usage and English sentence construction will help you navigate the intricacies of conversation and write more effectively in professional settings. Whether in casual discussions or formal exchanges, mastering these language nuances will enhance your communication skills and expand your vocabulary.

Illustrating Proper Use of “Discuss” with Examples

Knowing how to use the verb “discuss” correctly is essential for mastering English grammar. In this section, we will explore several demonstrative sentences that exemplify the proper use of “discuss” in various contexts. These examples will not only help you learn the correct sentence structure but also serve as inspiration when forming your own sentences.

Here are some examples that demonstrate the appropriate use of “discuss” without the preposition “about”:

The cabinet will meet to discuss easing restrictions amidst the ongoing pandemic.

They discussed the feasibility of implementing a new company policy.

The scientists gathered to discuss the latest findings from their research.

It is important to note that in all of these examples, “discuss” is followed directly by the object, without any unnecessary prepositions. By following this simple rule, you can ensure that your sentences are grammatically accurate and easy to understand.

In addition to the examples above, you can also practice using “discuss” correctly in sentences by combining it with various topics. Some other topics you might consider discussing include:

  • Business strategies
  • Environmental issues
  • Technological advancements
  • Cultural trends

Remember, the key to using “discuss” effectively is to directly state the object of discussion after the verb without any unnecessary prepositions. By mastering this grammar rule and applying it consistently, you will not only improve your written and spoken English skills but also demonstrate your proficiency in the language.

Transitive Verbs and Synonym Choices to Enrich Your Vocabulary

Upholding grammatical accuracy is essential for clear, effective communication. However, that doesn’t mean you have to be repetitive with your word choice when discussing a topic. Thankfully, a myriad of synonyms and transitive verb alternatives are available to help you enrich your vocabulary.

Exploring Various Options for Expressing ‘Discuss’

When looking to broaden your language usage without jeopardizing grammatical correctness, consider incorporating these synonyms for “discuss” into your writing:

  1. Converse about: Provide a conversational tone with this alternative.
  2. Debate: Emphasize disagreements and differing opinions.
  3. Deliberate: Denote a more thoughtful and careful discussion.
  4. Exchange views: Show the equal participation of multiple parties in the conversation.
  5. Talk: The most straightforward replacement of “discuss,” often included in informal contexts.
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Using these alternatives will allow you to spice up your discourse and exhibit a more extensive English vocabulary while still adhering to language rules. By actively integrating these synonyms in your professional and casual conversations, you’ll also demonstrate your mastery of the English language.

Final Thoughts on the Correct Use of “Discuss” in Professional and Casual Contexts

It’s crucial to understand the correct use of the verb “discuss” in both casual and professional settings. Mistakes in grammar may be forgivable in everyday conversation, but in formal contexts, it’s important to adhere to proper English. Remember, when using “discuss” as a transitive verb, you should follow it directly with the object, without using the redundant preposition “about.”

Applying grammar proficiency in your communications ensures not only clarity but also demonstrates professionalism to others. Employing proper verb usage and focusing on sentence structure will allow you to express yourself effectively.

Let these communication tips guide you, whether you’re engaged in a professional discussion or simply chatting with friends. Mastering the difference between “discuss” and “discuss about” will showcase your expertise in English grammar, and ultimately contribute to a more polished and eloquent use of the language.

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