+0
Hi,

I've noted that lots of people (can't remember whether they include some native English speakers in my office) use "discuss" as an intransitive verb

e.g. "What about your marketing plan?" "I've discussed with George and he said it's fine..."

However, when I look up the word "discuss" in Oxford's/Longman's dictionaries, both say that "discuss" is always a transitive verb & it must take an object.

I'm rather confused about that. Could someone give me a hand here?

Thanks.

Cheers,

Kathy
+0
Not quite. The colleague "discussed with someone". He didn't "discuss it with someone".

It has to be transitive. People can't just discuss. And they can't just discuss with others either. Emotion: smile

CJ
+0
KathyI've noted that lots of people (can't remember whether they include some native English speakers in my office) use "discuss" as an intransitive verb e.g. "What about your marketing plan?" "I've discussed with George and he said it's fine..."

However, when I look up the word "discuss" in Oxford's/Longman's dictionaries, both say that "discuss" is always a transitive verb & it must take an object.

I'm rather confused about that. Could someone give me a hand here?
Hello Kathy

You are right. As far as I know, no dictionary says "discuss" can be an intransitive verb. But still in certain constructions you can use "discuss" as if it were intransitive. (EX) "In the course we learned how to discuss in English". When an obligatorily transitive verb is used this way, it is called "an absolute verb". Mirriam-Webster Online Dictionary explains it as follows in the entry of "absolute".

"absolute"
of a verb : having no object in the particular construction under consideration though normally transitive. <Kill> in "if looks could kill" is an absolute verb.

paco
Teachers: We supply a list of EFL job vacancies
Comments  
You're right that we 'discuss something'. But we also 'discuss something with someone', just like what your colleagues said.
 CalifJim's reply was promoted to an answer.
 paco2004's reply was promoted to an answer.
Students: We have free audio pronunciation exercises.
Hi paco, CJ & Jay,

Thanks a lot for your advice. I've learnt a lot, indeed.

Cheers,

Kathy

AHD has examples of intransitive usages.

No dictionaries say "discuss" is only a transitive verb? Well, mine does. You discuss something with someone. You don't discuss with colleagues. You at least discuss that with colleagues. In speech, people might be using it that way, but it is grammatically incorrect so shouldn't be used that way in formal writing

Site Hint: Check out our list of pronunciation videos.

So the American Heritage Dictionary is wrong?

Here's their example of an intransitive use of 'discuss':

As we discussed yesterday, the problem could have more than one solution.


By the way, maybe you don't realize it, but you are answering a question that was asked about 14 years ago.

Why not answer questions that are more recent? That way there's a better chance that the person who asked the question is still participating on our forum and can benefit from your answer.

CJ