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    • Join Date: May 2005
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    “summarize in detail”

    Hello, could you help me with this?
    “summarize in detail”

    This seems contradicting to me.
    A dictionary (Longman) says:
    “summarize” ... “to make a short statement giving only the main information and not the details of a plan, event, report etc”.
    “in detail”...”using a lot of details”
    When you “summarize something in detail”, what do you actually do? Do you give only the main information without the details, or do you give the details???

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      • Native Language:
      • English
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      • UK
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    • Join Date: Oct 2005
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    Re: “summarize in detail”

    The best way I can think to help you is with an example...

    Imagine that you have to "Summarise in detail" a recent sporting event such as the result of a football match.

    To summarise "The home team won" is as simple as you can get.

    To summarise in detail "John Smith scored the winning goal in the 88th minute for 'City'. This was the result needed for them to stay in the championship."

    compared to:
    If it was in detail "John Smith, wearing the red number 6, the newly signed defender from 'United' rushed up the field and scored with a powerful shot into the top left corner of the goal in the last few minutes of the match. This was the climax of the exciting game which ended the season. 'City' are still in the premiership, and based on this performance will make good progress next year."

    You would only use details that are of major importance, yet still giving enough detail to interest your reader & show that you have real knowledge of the subject.

    Hope this helps a little!

  1. Curious Cat's Avatar

    • Join Date: Jul 2005
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    Re: “summarize in detail”

    Yes, that's strange! Lexicologically 'to summarize smth.' means to give general information omitting ANY details, illustrations etc.

    Seems the word has been used in a wrong way. What is meant is probably not "summarise" but "give a detailed overview" :)

    Waiting for any other opinions....

    • Join Date: May 2005
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    Re: “summarize in detail”

    Thank you hobbes, thank you Curious Cat!
    Yes, I’m waiting for any other opinions too!
    This is confusing to a non-native speaker of English.

    • Join Date: Jul 2005
    • Posts: 59
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    Re: “summarize in detail”

    Maybe it's a wrong English using but somehow accepted by some people.

    I searched for the term "summarize in detail" at Google and found only 577 results. So, it's not so much common, huh ?

    Just my thought! :~)


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