For today’s daily post challenge, I would like to PAUSE writing stories and discuss this topic below, answering the question, WHY CAN’T WE USE “DISCUSS ABOUT” IN A SENTENCE.
This is also for my students in Japan and Korea.
Many people are making mistakes in using the expressions DISCUSS and ABOUT in a sentence. They are both used in a different way which can be grammatically correct, but never in one sentence pertaining to the same object.
PART I: DISCUSSION
VERBS can be tricky at times; we just have to analyze them first before we use them so our sentences won’t sound confusing.
TRANSITIVE VERB: when a verb takes a direct object.
Example: The old woman embraced her long-lost daughter.
*embraced – takes daughter as a direct object or the receiver of the action.
INTRANSITIVE VERB: any verb that does not take a direct object.
Example: The daughter was embraced tightly.
*no direct object in the predicate
- to talk about (something) with another person or group of people.
- Talk over, talk about, talk through, converse about, debate (synonyms)
* GRAMMATICALLY, “Let’s discuss the issues” (is correct) since it is a transitive verb.
There are some people who MAKE MISTAKES in using the expression “LET’S DISCUSS ABOUT….”
This is an example sentence from New York Times, dated November 24, 2006, and I quote:
“On average, Kelley Fay finds that people DISCUSS ABOUT a dozen brands each day.”
Is it grammatically correct or not?
NOPE! IT ISN’T GRAMMATICALLY CORRECT. Here is how a reader should read the sentence.
“On average, Keller Fay finds that people DISCUSS (about a dozen) brands each day.”
WHY? Because “about a dozen” is a PHRASE, that is like saying “approximately 12”
QUESTION: Then why shouldn’t we use “DISCUSS ABOUT” in a sentence?
There are 2 REASONS why we cannot use “ discuss about” in a sentence.
- It is already redundant since DISCUSS means to talk about. So it is like saying “Let’s talk about-about the issues.”
- It requires the topic for discussion to be both object of the verb and object of the preposition, which is grammatically impossible.
A. Let’s talk about this.
B. Talk about what?
A. Talk about the issue.
A. Let’s discuss this.
B. Discuss what?
A. The issue.
PART II: VOCABULARY
- Verb – a word used to describe an action
- Transitive Verb – a verb that requires one or more objects
- Intransitive Verb – has no object
- Phrase – group of words (or a single word) that function/ functions as a constituent in the syntax of a sentence.
- Discuss – to talk about
- About – proposition; on the subject of/concerning
- Redundant – adjective; not or no longer needed or useful
- Proposition – a word or group of words that indicates/indicate location, or some relationship between a noun or a pronoun.
PART III: EXERCISE
Write C if the sentence is correct, and I if incorrect.
- She will discuss about the issue tomorrow.
- The professor will discuss Management this afternoon.
- Ching wants to discuss about your salary later.
- I will discuss the lesson next week.
- Patty wants to talk about the argument on Monday.
- Cathy will never discuss about why she can’t attend the meeting on Sunday.
- Carla isn’t ready to discuss that with the team.
- My boss called our attention and discussed about the drastic change in the schedule.
- Jenny will talk about the salary deduction to the teachers.
- She wants to know if you can discuss it before she leaves.
- She will discuss about the issue tomorrow. (I)
- The professor will discuss Management this afternoon. (C)
- Ching wants to discuss about your salary later. (I)
- I will discuss the lesson next week. (C)
- Patty wants to talk about the argument on Monday. (C)
- Cathy will never discuss about why she can’t attend the meeting on Sunday. (I)
- Carla isn’t ready to discuss that with the team. (C)
- My boss called our attention and discussed about the drastic change in the schedule. (I)
- Jenny will talk about the salary deduction to the teachers. (C)
- She wants to know if you can discuss it before she leaves. (C)