I recently had to translate an official interview for a respected magazine in my country, and I wrote the following:

"John Smith, the founder and CEO of the project explains about the future strategy, investors, and, of course, development of the industry."

I am not an ultra-good at translating business English, but I was told that my text, and this sentence, in particular, had some unacceptable mistakes. The mistake appears to be "explain about." I mean?.. I quickly googled, and it turns out a ton of people use the expression this way. Moreover, I was told that this is completely wrong, and not a debatable issue, like "we is" level wrong.

So, please tell me what is wrong. The one thing I managed to find is that the word "explain" already implies the "about part," but I wouldn't attribute that to a grave mistake.

Sorry for the long rant, waiting for your explanations!

  • 4
    Explaining a strategy means describing details about the strategy. Adding about might be - in descending order of likelihood - (1) awkwardly superfluous, not just redundant; (2) using 'about' to mean 'around' - i.e. avoiding a discussion of the strategy itself by talking about related issues; or (3) holding a meta-discussion of the strategy. – Lawrence Sep 8 '17 at 16:17
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    @Lawrence Well explained about. – Edwin Ashworth Sep 8 '17 at 16:34
  • @EdwinAshworth I am tempted to change the question title to "Please explain about what is wrong with 'explain about'." :-) – Hellion Sep 8 '17 at 17:07
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    I know this won't be terribly helpful, hence the comment vs. answer, but "explain about" is just not idiomatic. To hear it or read it is the equivalent of hearing nails being scratched on a chalkboard. – Kristina Lopez Sep 8 '17 at 19:35
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    @KristinaL - I agree; we can talk about something, laugh about something, gripe about something, but we don’t “explain about something” – we simply explain something. – J.R. Sep 9 '17 at 0:02

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