The English language is comprised of many words and phrases which look & sound similar, but have different meanings. Just think about beside vs besides the point as a great example of this. Chances are you have hear someone say that they “discussed about” something. But is this phrase correct? Or, is this not proper English grammar. In this post, we’ll explain the difference between discussed about vs discuss about with a few examples included!
Is It Correct To Say “Discussed About”?
In order to understand if it is appropriate to understand this grammar rule, you need to know the basics of sentence structure and parts of speech.
The phrase “to discuss” does not required or need the prepositional phrase “about” before the direct object of the sentence. This is redundant! “Discuss” is a transitive verb.
- INCORRECT: “We discussed about something” or “we are going to discuss about” something.
- CORRECT: “ To talk about something”, “to discuss something”, or “we discussed something”.
Takeaway: Transitive verbs need a direct object right after they appear in a sentence. Therefore it is incorrect to say “discuss about”.
Just like with the words ran or run, it can be very tough to spot the difference between them when someone speaks the words aloud. To further clarify, here are some sentences to illustrate this grammar rule.
- We need to discuss the details of the science project before turning it in.
- The team discussed the new proposal at length during the pre-job brief meeting.
- I would like to discuss this matter further with you in private.
- The topic of the seminar was “Effective Communication,” which was discussed by the guest speaker.
- The issue of company-wide layoffs was discussed at the board meeting last Tuesday.
Just like we saw with our analysis of what vs which grammar rules, small spelling differences make a big difference!
A quick review of Google’s ngram data shows that not many writers make this grammatical mistake. That is great to see! Including the preposition “about” about the verb “discuss” is NOT correct.
Just like we say when analyzing the difference between Hobo vs Vagrant, we know words come in and out of popularity over the decades. This does not seem to apply to the word “discuss”! It’s popularity has risen over the decades.
What Is A Transitive Verb?
If it isn’t already clear by now, a transitive verb is a verb that requires an object to complete its meaning. The direct object should immediately follow the transitive verb.
- Transitive Example: “She opened the book,” the verb is “opened” and the direct object is “book,” so “opened” is a transitive verb.
- Intransitive Example: Does not require an object. “She left” the verb is “left” and there is no object, so “left” is intransitive verb.
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Synonyms For Discuss
If you need a synonym for the article discusses, you’re in luck! There are several different words you can use instead.
- Converse about
- Exchange views
There are many other synonyms you can use, but these should be sufficient to spice up your writing!
Frequently Asked Questions
No, it is not grammatically correct to say discuss about. Even if you use the noun form of the “discuss”, it does not require the preposition “about”. For example, you might say “my teacher discussed the first chapter of the book yesterday”.
No, you cannot say the phrases “discuss on” or “discuss about” in your writing. It would be correct to say that you heard someone having a discussion on something.
You might say, “We will discuss the budget proposal at the next meeting.” In this sentence, “discuss” is a transitive verb and the direct object is the “budget”.
Yes, it is correct to say “as discussed” in your writing. This phrase is used to set the topic of a conversation and refer to previous discussions.
The Bottom Line
By now, you should be a master of the transitive verb “to discuss”. In informal conversation, this spelling rule is not a huge deal. No need to be a grammar nazi! However, in formal writing you need to stick to the rules of English grammar. If you need some extra help mastering this rule, use our english online grammar check for FREE!