The different prepositions you can use after “discussion” have a very subtle difference in the overall meaning of the word. In this article, we’ll look at using “discussion on,” “discussion about,” and “discussion of” and what the differences are.
Should You Use “Discussion On,” “Discussion About,” Or “Discussion Of”?
“Discussion on” should be used when one person is doing most of the talking about a topic. “Discussion about” should be used when you want to talk about a topic but don’t have to stay on topic. “Discussion of” should be used when you want to stick to the topic.
The difference is very slight, and most people use them somewhat interchangeably. You’ll often find that most native speakers won’t pay much attention to the differences between the three phrases, but it’s good to know which one means what.
Is “Discussion On,” “Discussion About,” Or “Discussion Of” Used The Most?
It will help you to understand them slightly clearer if we look at which one of the three is used the most.
In this graph, we can see that “discussion of” is by far the most popular choice, while “discussion on” and “discussion about” are roughly equal. “Discussion of” has been the favored phrase for at least the last 200 years.
Generally, “discussion of” is the most popular choice because it allows us to stay more strictly on topic. Usually, when we host a discussion, the intention is to keep everything within the confines of the topic – making “discussion of” the best choice.
Sometimes, you might find yourself losing interest in the topic or moving on to another one. In these cases, you’ll use “discussion about,” though it’s much rare to come across.
Finally, in other cases, one particular person might be leading the discussion. If this is the case, then you’re having a “discussion on” something because someone is in charge of discussing that topic with you.
7 Examples Of How To Use “Discussion On” In A Sentence
We believe that examples are some of the easiest ways for us to explain what we’re talking about. We’ll show you examples for each of the phrases and prepositions, and you can choose which ones work best for you after seeing it.
“Discussion on” is used when one person is doing most of the talking. It’s generally considered more of a one-sided meeting or lecture.
- My boss invited me into his office to have a discussion on my behavior.
- We should have a discussion on this later, where I do the talking.
- He had a discussion on the things that went wrong at his college.
- They kept me behind for a discussion on my report card.
- My parents all pester me with a discussion on my eating habits.
- You always demand to have a discussion on things that I have no interest in!
- Let’s have a discussion on what we can do to fix this relationship; I’ll start.
Generally, “discussion on” is used when one person is more confident to do most of the talking than the other. To highlight this in these examples, we included extra clauses that show that someone is intending on doing the majority of the talking during the discussion.
7 Examples Of How To Use “Discussion About” In A Sentence
Now let’s see how we might use “discussion about” in a different way. This is the most general preposition of the three and changes the meaning of “discussion” to represent that.
“Discussion about” is used when you want to talk about the topic in question but don’t mind if things get off-topic.
- Let’s have a discussion about how we’ll tackle this project.
- I want to have a discussion about my career.
- We should have a discussion about our relationship.
- You need to have a discussion about what to do next.
- She had a discussion about what she found, and it didn’t go well.
- I’d like a discussion about all the things I have to offer.
- Are you just going to turn down my idea without any discussion about it?
As you can see from these examples, we generally aren’t as specific with the topic. We don’t mention something specifically and instead come up with a general concept. This allows other ideas to float around during the discussion, which is primarily what the preposition “about” is used for.
You might also like: Is “Discuss About” Grammatically Incorrect? (Quick Facts)
7 Examples Of How To Use “Discussion Of” In A Sentence
Finally, let’s go over the most popular of the three prepositions, “discussion of.”
“Discussion of” is used when you want to strictly stay on topic about something. However, the amount of people present is irrelevant.
- What’s the discussion of this time?
- We’re having a discussion of parts in this play.
- You shouldn’t need a discussion of time management.
- Let’s all have a discussion of the finer things in life.
- We’d like a discussion of what’s most important.
- Are you having a discussion of what we already covered?
- Let’s have a discussion of more of that before we go.
Which Other Prepositions Can Be Used After “Discussion”?
There aren’t many other choices when it comes to using prepositions after “discussion.” The most important ones have already been covered, although we would like to discuss one more.
“Discussion with” is the only other preposition you’re likely to come across. We use it when we want to talk about the people who participated in the discussion or if we want to have a discussion with a particular person or group.
- I’ll have a discussion with the committee.
- We should set up a discussion with Dan from HR.
- Let’s have a discussion with our partners.
Is It Correct To Say “Discuss On”?
Finally, we wanted to quickly talk about the phrase “discuss on.”
“Discuss on” is grammatically incorrect when we want to use the verb “discuss” to talk about something specifically. We never use any prepositions after the verb “discuss” because it does enough to clarify our intended meaning.
- We should discuss the details.
- We should discuss on the details.
As you can see, the first example is correct, and “on” is an error that we shouldn’t use when “discuss” is in the verb form.
Martin holds a Master’s degree in Finance and International Business. He has six years of experience in professional communication with clients, executives, and colleagues. Furthermore, he has teaching experience from Aarhus University. Martin has been featured as an expert in communication and teaching on Forbes and Shopify. Read more about Martin here.