Posted by: helpforyourenglish | March 21, 2011

Common mistakes – discuss, talk about

Common mistakes when learning English

………….

Talk about, discuss, discuss about

……….

We can say:

1. I want to talk to you about something

2. I was talking with my parents about work.

3. Tom was talking with his friends about the problems in Japan

4. The managers are going to talk about wage increases.

5. Yesterday, European leaders talked about Libya

or

1.a. I want to discuss something with you

2.a. I was discussing work with my parents

3.a. Tom was discussing the problems in Japan with his friends

4.a. The managers are going to discuss wage increases.

5.a. Yesterday, European leaders discussed Libya

………

We don’t say ‘discuss about’

1.b. I want to discuss about something with you

2.b. I was discussing about work with my parents

3.b. Tom was discussing about Japan with his friends

4.b. The managers are going to discuss about wage increases.

5.b. Yesterday, European leaders discussed about Libya

……….

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Responses

  1. Hi, I like this blog. Could you tell me the difference between:
    “I was talking with my friend about the crisis in Lybia” and
    “I was speaking with my friend
    about…”?

  2. Hi Bambang. Thanks for reading my blog and thanks for your question.
    There is no difference in meaning. Both are good. 🙂

  3. In a meeting of the Board, should I say “I must talk TO the Director about…” or “I must talk WITH the Director about…”?

  4. Hi Bambang. You can use either of them. They are both good. The meaning is the same. I think British people tend to use ‘talk to’…. and Americans tend to use ‘talk with’….

  5. Yesterday, European leaders discussed about Lybia I think is the best sentence because “about”means the situation that is currently happening

  6. Hi Vanessa. Thanks for commenting. 🙂

    Actually, discuss = talk about. So if you say “discuss about”, it is like you are saying “talk about about….”. That is why we don’t add the preposition ‘about’ when we use the verb ‘discuss’. The verb ‘discuss’ does not need it.

    We use the preposition ‘about’ with the verb ‘talk’ to indicate the subject being discussed.

    Also, “about” does not mean a situation is currently happening. For example: ‘Two hundred years ago, two men talked about Romeo and Juliet.’

  7. thanks for this article..
    I want to discuss the key to learn English with you.
    I was talking to my teacher about this..

    • Hello Rama. Thanks for reading my blog and thanks for your comment.

      Your examples are correct except for one thing. After “key to …” there should be a gerund (‘to’ is a preposition in this sentence). So, the examples should be like this:

      I want to discuss the key to learning English with you.
      I was talking to my teacher about this.

  8. […] or  European leaders discussed Libya but not  European leaders discussed about Libya (see more about this error) […]

  9. […] you. or  European leaders discussed Libya but not  European leaders discussed about Libya (see more about this error) CJ at englishforums.com said “discuss about is a common mistake made by native speakers, so […]

  10. […] or  European leaders discussed Libya but not  European leaders discussed about Libya (see more about this error) […]


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