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When to use the verb "discuss" vs when to use the abstract noun "discussion"?

Our discussion last night was positive.
What we discussed last night was positive.

I'm more interested when to use abstract nouns vs its verb form. I hope I'm explaining this right.

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The difference between your two examples is entirely related to what you're focusing on. In the first case, you are saying the whole discussion itself was positive. In other words, the experience of discussing was positive. In the second case, you're saying the topic(s) of the discussion were positive. Slight difference in meaning, but both are grammatically and idiomatically correct.

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