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Evaluate VS discuss …. Explain VS Describe … what is the difference ?

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New post 01 Aug 2015, 02:44
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this always confuse me on RC.
sometimes I'm confused when i see in the answer choices these terms: Evaluate, discuss, Explain, Describe. i can not distinguish between Evaluate VS discuss OR . Explain VS Describe . what is the difference between them ? how do i know that author was evaluating or discussing in the argument ?

thank you :)
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New post 07 Aug 2015, 21:50
I too would like to know answer to this question
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Re: Evaluate VS discuss …. Explain VS Describe … what is the difference ?  [#permalink]

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New post 27 May 2017, 07:21
this always confuse me on RC.
sometimes I'm confused when i see in the answer choices these terms: Evaluate, discuss, Explain, Describe. i can not distinguish between Evaluate VS discuss OR . Explain VS Describe . what is the difference between them ? how do i know that author was evaluating or discussing in the argument ?

Thank you :)
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Re: Evaluate VS discuss …. Explain VS Describe … what is the difference ?  [#permalink]

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New post 14 Sep 2017, 21:27
"describe" means to merely explain as in a matter of fact, and to list out and state.
"evaluate" means to discuss for the purpose of finding which is better than the other, more effective, etc.
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Re: Evaluate VS discuss …. Explain VS Describe … what is the difference ?  [#permalink]

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New post 24 Sep 2017, 12:07
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This is a pretty subtle difference. I don't think a problem would ever depend just on that difference. There's probably a bigger error in one of the answer choices that you could use.

For 'purpose verbs' like 'evaluate', 'discuss', etc., the really important things to look at aren't the subtle differences. Instead, focus on these:

- what's the 'tone'? 'Cast doubt on' implies that the author is negative towards the topic, while 'confirm' would imply that the author has a positive attitude towards it.

- is it 'strong' language, or 'weak' language? Strong verbs are ones that have very clear, specific meanings, such as 'argue' or 'prove' or 'contrast'. Weaker verbs are ones that basically just mean 'talk about', like 'discuss', 'explain', 'list', etc. If your answer choice has a 'strong' verb in it, you should be very certain that the passage actually does that thing (argues, proves, contrasts, etc.) If you only have a weak verb, you don't really need to worry about it.

That said, in my mind, 'discuss' and 'describe' are totally neutral- they just mean 'talk about something' in a very general way. You could use these for almost any passage.

To 'evaluate' something means to determine whether it's right or wrong, good or bad, etc. There's a judgment involved.

To 'explain' something means to take something that's confusing or obscure, and make it simpler or clearer for the reader by clearing up ambiguities or confusing points.
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New post 08 Aug 2019, 20:04
Hello from the GMAT Club VerbalBot!

Thanks to another GMAT Club member, I have just discovered this valuable topic, yet it had no discussion for over a year. I am now bumping it up - doing my job. I think you may find it valuable (esp those replies with Kudos).

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Re: Evaluate VS discuss …. Explain VS Describe … what is the difference ?   [#permalink] 08 Aug 2019, 20:04
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