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Language tip of the week: talking in order to decide something

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Learn English with Macmillan DictionaryIn this weekly post, we bring more useful content from the Macmillan Dictionary to English language learners. In this series of language tips to accompany the Real Vocabulary theme we look at how you can expand your vocabulary in English by using different words and expressions instead of core vocabulary items.

This week’s tip looks at words and phrases you can use to talk about talking to someone in order to decide something.

discuss to talk about something with someone in order to make a decision or make plans:
We’re meeting next week to discuss the question of our loan. ♦ You should discuss this problem with your doctor. ♦ Union leaders are meeting to discuss how to deal with factory closures.
talk over something or talk somethin over to discuss a problem or situation with someone in order to understand it better:
I know you’re still angry; let’s talk it over tonight. ♦ You both need to talk over what happened that day.
debate to discuss a subject formally before making a decision, often by voting:
This is one of the most hotly debated issues of the moment. ♦ The party is debating whether to change its policy on tax. 
negotiate to try to reach an agreement with someone by discussing something in a formal way, especially in a business or political context:
The two sides have expressed their willingness to negotiate. ♦ The airline is currently negotiating a new contract with the union.
be in talks or discussions or negotiations (with someone) to be trying to reach an agreement with someone especially about a business or political matter, by discussing it in a formal way:
The company is in talks with its bankers about restructuring its debts. ♦ We’re still in negotiations but nothing has been settled yet. ♦ I would call on Australia to enter into discussions with its Pacific neighbours.
confer to discuss something with other people in order to reach a decision, especially in an official situation. Confer is formal:
He asked for some time to confer with his lawyers.

Did you know that Macmillan Dictionary includes a full thesaurus? This page lists more ways to say ‘discuss‘.

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Liz Potter

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