Recount a story

Labga

Senior Member
Thai
Hi,

Is the sentence "I recounted a story." natural?

Some dictionaries say "recount" means "tell a story". I'm asking if "recount a story" is redundant. Should I say "tell a story" instead?

Thanks in advance.
 
  • Uncle Jack

    Senior Member
    British English
    "Redundant" is the wrong word since you need a verb, but the dictionaries are right in that "recount" means to tell a story or tale, and "a story" is not a very good fit, but I would not say that it was wrong. If you say which story you recounted, then "recount" is fine: I recounted the story of how John from Accounts got stuck in the lift, for example.

    "I told a story" is fine.
     

    Labga

    Senior Member
    Thai
    "Redundant" is the wrong word since you need a verb, but the dictionaries are right in that "recount" means to tell a story or tale, and "a story" is not a very good fit, but I would not say that it was wrong. If you say which story you recounted, then "recount" is fine: I recounted the story of how John from Accounts got stuck in the lift, for example.

    "I told a story" is fine.
    Thank you Uncle Jack. You mean "recount" is a transitive verb. It needs an object, right?
     

    Uncle Jack

    Senior Member
    British English
    It is a transitive verb; you have to say what is or was recounted, but "recount" already contains the idea that the thing is a story. If you use "recount", the object should say what the story is about.
     
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