Describe/ outline

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Artrella

Banned
BA
Spanish-Argentina
Hello! I have this paragraph to fill in the blanks with certain words I've been given.

" To start with I'd like to [1]describe briefly our current marketing policy in the UK....... After that I'll [2]outline the opportunities we see for further progress....My purpose today is [3]to tell you about......"


Well the questions are these:

1) Can I use the word "outline" in the first gap? I think I cannot because it'd be redundant because of the "briefly" that follows it.

2) Can I use "describe" in the second gap? Does it make sense?

3) Can I use "describe" or "outline" in the third gap? I think I cannot because of the "about" that follows.


Thank you for your help!
 
  • panjandrum

    Lapsed Moderator
    English-Ireland (top end)
    Artrella said:
    Well the questions are these:

    1) Can I use the word "outline" in the first gap? I think I cannot because it'd be redundant because of the "briefly" that follows it. Agree, but you could use "outline" instead of "describe briefly". You could use "summarise"

    2) Can I use "describe" in the second gap? Does it make sense? Yes, although "outline" allows for a high level description, "describe" suggests more detail.

    3) Can I use "describe" or "outline" in the third gap? I think I cannot because of the "about" that follows. You could replace "to tell you about" with either "describe" or "outline". But I really prefer "tell you about" because it suggests active communication with the audience, not a performance by you!
    In all three, I think the original form is perfectly satisfactory and normal.
     

    Artrella

    Banned
    BA
    Spanish-Argentina
    Originally Posted by Artrella
    Well the questions are these:

    1) Can I use the word "outline" in the first gap? I think I cannot because it'd be redundant because of the "briefly" that follows it. Agree, but you could use "outline" instead of "describe briefly". You could use "summarise"

    2) Can I use "describe" in the second gap? Does it make sense? Yes, although "outline" allows for a high level description, "describe" suggests more detail.

    3) Can I use "describe" or "outline" in the third gap? I think I cannot because of the "about" that follows. You could replace "to tell you about" with either "describe" or "outline". But I really prefer "tell you about" because it suggests active communication with the audience, not a performance by you!


    In all three, I think the original form is perfectly satisfactory and normal.

    Thank you Panjandrum... as regards point 3... you said I can replace the original, which is ok for me, but is it true that I cannot say "describe about" or "outline about", right?
     

    daviesri

    Senior Member
    USA English
    Artrella said:
    Hello! I have this paragraph to fill in the blanks with certain words I've been given.

    " To start with I'd like to [1]describe briefly our current marketing policy in the UK....... After that I'll [2]outline the opportunities we see for further progress....My purpose today is [3]to tell you about......"
    Well the questions are these:
    1) Can I use the word "outline" in the first gap? I think I cannot because it'd be redundant because of the "briefly" that follows it.
    2) Can I use "describe" in the second gap? Does it make sense?
    3) Can I use "describe" or "outline" in the third gap? I think I cannot because of the "about" that follows.

    Thank you for your help!
    1) I would replace 'describe briefly' with summarize.
    2) you could use 'describe' but 'outline' seems to work in what little I can see of the document.
    3) Describe could be used but you would have to change the structure of the sentence in a manner that removes 'about'.
     

    Artrella

    Banned
    BA
    Spanish-Argentina
    daviesri said:
    1) I would replace 'describe briefly' with summarize.
    2) you could use 'describe' but 'outline' seems to work in what little I can see of the document.
    3) Describe could be used but you would have to change the structure of the sentence in a manner that removes 'about'.

    Exactly (point3)! But I don't want to change anything, just leave the sentences like they are .... because what I want is to teach my students is to collocate words... so if it says "briefly" I wouldn't use "outline" because it is redundant (to outline implies a brief description of main points), then I'd choose "describe" for instance.
    This is what I need to do, that's why I'm asking here, to check if my explanation is correct....hee hee.... :D
     

    daviesri

    Senior Member
    USA English
    Artrella said:
    Exactly (point3)! But I don't want to change anything, just leave the sentences like they are .... because what I want is to teach my students is to collocate words... so if it says "briefly" I wouldn't use "outline" because it is redundant (to outline implies a brief description of main points), then I'd choose "describe" for instance.
    This is what I need to do, that's why I'm asking here, to check if my explanation is correct....hee hee.... :D
    Sorry, I should have read it more carefully. Since you have to use only the words above I would say you have them all in the correct place.

    You could switch describe and outline if you chose to do so. Your take on outline being used with briefly is correct in that it can be redundant, but, an outline can sometimes become quite long and drawn out and by using briefly you are letting the audience know that it is going to be quick.
     

    Artrella

    Banned
    BA
    Spanish-Argentina
    daviesri said:
    Sorry, I should have read it more carefully. Since you have to use only the words above I would say you have them all in the correct place.

    You could switch describe and outline if you chose to do so. Your take on outline being used with briefly is correct in that it can be redundant, but, an outline can sometimes become quite long and drawn out and by using briefly you are letting the audience know that it is going to be quick.

    Daviersi, no sorry please...you have helped me a lot and I really appreciate your explanations!! Thank you!! :)
     

    germinal

    Senior Member
    England English
    I think you are right, Artrella, about the redundancy of 'briefly' when used with 'outline' as the word 'outline' means 'a brief description' - the fact that sometimes an outline may ramble on a bit alters nothing in my opinion. :)

    Germinal.


    .
     

    suzzzenn

    Senior Member
    USA English
    Hi everyone,

    I disagree. I think "briefly outline" and "outline briefly" sound fine. I did a quick search of the British National Corpus and it confirmed that briefly is not only collocated with outline, it is the abverb that is most frequently collocated! The results are too large to post here, but I'll PM them to you Art.

    Susan:)
     

    Artrella

    Banned
    BA
    Spanish-Argentina
    suzzzenn said:
    Hi everyone,

    I disagree. I think "briefly outline" or "outline briefly" sounds fine. I did a quick search of the British National Corpus and it confirmed that briefly is not only collocated with outline, it is the abverb that is most frequently collocated! The results are too large to post here, but I'll PM them to you Art.

    Susan:)
    Please, thank you Susan!! I need that info to teach my students! :D
     

    JohninVirginia

    Senior Member
    USA/ English
    Artrella said:
    Hello! I have this paragraph to fill in the blanks with certain words I've been given.

    " To start with I'd like to [1]describe briefly our current marketing policy in the UK....... After that I'll [2]outline the opportunities we see for further progress....My purpose today is [3]to tell you about......"


    Well the questions are these:

    1) Can I use the word "outline" in the first gap? I think I cannot because it'd be redundant because of the "briefly" that follows it.

    2) Can I use "describe" in the second gap? Does it make sense?

    3) Can I use "describe" or "outline" in the third gap? I think I cannot because of the "about" that follows.


    Thank you for your help!
    It's always hard to know exactly what the teacher wants when reading a test question with several possible answers.

    Mu opinion is that, if you have those 3 words to fill in those 3 blanks, I would switch the first 2 (describe and outline). I realize that outline is a bit redundant with briefly, but I think maybe that's the point of the exercise, to be sure that you know the difference between describe and outline.

    (On the other hand, maybe they want you to recognize the redundancy and answer as you did... Paper-rock-scissors...:) But I personally would switch them anyway.)

    My opinion as a veteran (pretty good) test taker, but not a grammar expert.
     

    Artrella

    Banned
    BA
    Spanish-Argentina
    JohninVirginia said:
    It's always hard to know exactly what the teacher wants when reading a test question with several possible answers.

    Mu opinion is that, if you have those 3 words to fill in those 3 blanks, I would switch the first 2 (describe and outline). I realize that outline is a bit redundant with briefly, but I think maybe that's the point of the exercise, to be sure that you know the difference between describe and outline.

    (On the other hand, maybe they want you to recognize the redundancy and answer as you did... Paper-rock-scissors...:) But I personally would switch them anyway.)

    My opinion as a veteran (pretty good) test taker, but not a grammar expert.

    Thank you John, all these comments coming from English speakers are really very helpful for me!
     

    rayb

    Senior Member
    Chile - Spanish
    Artrella said:
    Originally Posted by Artrella
    Well the questions are these:

    1) Can I use the word "outline" in the first gap? I think I cannot because it'd be redundant because of the "briefly" that follows it. Agree, but you could use "outline" instead of "describe briefly". You could use "summarise"

    2) Can I use "describe" in the second gap? Does it make sense? Yes, although "outline" allows for a high level description, "describe" suggests more detail.

    3) Can I use "describe" or "outline" in the third gap? I think I cannot because of the "about" that follows. You could replace "to tell you about" with either "describe" or "outline". But I really prefer "tell you about" because it suggests active communication with the audience, not a performance by you!


    In all three, I think the original form is perfectly satisfactory and normal.

    Thank you Panjandrum... as regards point 3... you said I can replace the original, which is ok for me, but is it true that I cannot say "describe about" or "outline about", right?
    Art, it seems to me, that for gap N° 2, outline is better than describe, due to the fact that opportunities are normally uncertain to some extent. Hence, sometimes you cannot provide larger details.

    Saludos
     

    panjandrum

    Lapsed Moderator
    English-Ireland (top end)
    Artrella said:
    ... is it true that I cannot say "describe about" or "outline about", right?
    I didn't spot any direct answer to this question. TRUE: you would not say "describe about" or "outline about" in this context.
    :idea: Sudden moment of understanding - you have three gaps that are to be filled with those three words...so suggestions of other words don't help a big deal:eek:
     

    JohninVirginia

    Senior Member
    USA/ English
    rayb said:
    Art, it seems to me, that for gap N° 2, outline is better than describe, due to the fact that opportunities are normally uncertain to some extent. Hence, sometimes you cannot provide larger details.

    Saludos
    The more I read this, the more I think that Artella is right and I was wrong, but it sure is ambiguous.
     

    germinal

    Senior Member
    England English
    suzzzenn said:
    Hi everyone,

    I disagree. I think "briefly outline" and "outline briefly" sound fine. I did a quick search of the British National Corpus and it confirmed that briefly is not only collocated with outline, it is the abverb that is most frequently collocated! The results are too large to post here, but I'll PM them to you Art.

    Susan:)

    Hi Suzzzenn, I didn't claim that these words were not used together, in fact they are very frequently used. The point I made was that I consider the use of briefly in conjunction with outline to be redundant, that's all. :)


    Germinal.


    .
     

    Nocciolina

    Senior Member
    USA
    English
    Artrella said:
    Hello! I have this paragraph to fill in the blanks with certain words I've been given.

    " To start with I'd like to [1]describe briefly our current marketing policy in the UK....... After that I'll [2]outline the opportunities we see for further progress....My purpose today is [3]to tell you about......"


    Well the questions are these:

    1) Can I use the word "outline" in the first gap? I think I cannot because it'd be redundant because of the "briefly" that follows it. Briefly is often used as an adverbial for outline. Nothing redundant about it, it is there to compliment the outline.

    2) Can I use "describe" in the second gap? Does it make sense? Describe in the second gap sounds somewhat foreign to me. I would go for outline here.

    3) Can I use "describe" or "outline" in the third gap? I think I cannot because of the "about" that follows. Well if the 'you' is there than you cannot say describe or outline because they are both intransitive verbs and would therefore need a preposition before the you.




    Thank you for your help!
    Good luck!!
     

    suzzzenn

    Senior Member
    USA English
    Hi Germinal,

    I should have cut and pasted the post I was disagreeing with. Coming right after yours it gave the impression that I had a problem with your post. I don't! I wasn't disagreeing specifically with you or the idea that "outline briefly" could be considered redundant. I was just trying to say I think that the two words are collocated. (collocations= "types of word co-occurances that are governed by conventional use"). Artrella said at one point she was tryng to teach collocations, and I thought that "outline briefly" was more of a style issue than a general usage problem. And, I think they sound OK together.

    :)
     

    Artrella

    Banned
    BA
    Spanish-Argentina
    panjandrum said:
    I didn't spot any direct answer to this question. TRUE: you would not say "describe about" or "outline about" in this context.
    :idea: Sudden moment of understanding - you have three gaps that are to be filled with those three words...so suggestions of other words don't help a big deal:eek:

    Right!! This is what I need!! HOWEVER, all the help is welcomed and I would like to thank you all for your explanations, especially to Susan... who has done a great research job for me! :) ;) :p
     
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