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    • Join Date: Feb 2009
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    #1

    "debate on" or "debate about"?

    Which should be used in the following context:
    " Debate on/about the European Union and structural funds" ?

  1. engee30's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: "debate on" or "debate about"?

    I think they're interchangeable, and mean the same.


    • Join Date: Nov 2007
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    #3

    Re: "debate on" or "debate about"?

    I think they're interchangeable, and mean the same.

    Not quite. Use 'about' when in fact, rather than 'debate', you mean a lot of talk where people disagree, and so argue over pints in pubs. This use is more a'newspaper headline' shorthand term for 'lots of discussion in the country'.

    Use 'on' when you are referring to a more formal discussion, as in a local council meeting re a new motorway through the centre of town; in parliament; and the Oxford Debating Society!

    Where it gets confused is when both are going on at the same time in the country - then it all gets subsumed as 'debate about'.

  2. RonBee's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: "debate on" or "debate about"?

    When you use it ("debate") as a verb you don't need either. Example:
    They debated the issues.
    Using it as a noun you might say (for example):
    It was a debate about the economy.

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