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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
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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
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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
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Comments  
You're right that we 'discuss something'. But we also 'discuss something with someone', just like what your colleagues said.
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Hi paco, CJ & Jay,

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

Cheers,

Kathy

AHD has examples of intransitive usages.