I see a writing direction:

Describe in English on “the advantages and disadvantages of computer”.

I think describe on is wrong. It should be:

Describe in English “the advantages and disadvantages of computer”.

Am I right?

  • 1
    "Describe on" is definitely wrong, but I'm struggling to explain exactly why. (Also wrong is "the advantages and disadvantages of computer". You need to pluralize "computers".) It may help to realize that "on" implies "on the subject of..." so "on the subject of the advantages and disadvantages of computers" is a valid noun phrase. And expanding on that, you can say "Discuss, in English, on the advantages (etc)." Something about the verb "describe" can't work with "on the subject of...". I think it's because "on the subject of" is vague, and "describe" needs a concrete object? Commented Nov 2, 2018 at 6:25
  • But a similar "Write a report on (something)" would be OK.
    – user3169
    Commented Nov 3, 2018 at 2:20

2 Answers 2


Have you learned about the difference between transitive and intransitive verbs?

Describe transitive verb 1 :to represent or give an account of in words

Describe is a transitive verb, meaning it takes a direct object ("describe him"). Intransitive verbs, for instance, look, must take indirect objects ("look at him").

The direct object in your sentence is "the advantages and disadvantages of computers," so you should say, "Describe the advantages and disadvantages of computers"*

An example of a similar sentence with an intransitive verb would be: "Talk about the advantages and disadvantages of computers."

*I'm not sure why you put "the advantages and disadvantages of computer" in quotation marks, and it's hard for me to think of a reason why you'd ever need to.


You're right. Describe does not pair with on. Also, computer needs to be changed to a computer or computers. A clearer wording, and one seen a lot in American schools, is:

Compare and contrast the advantages and disadvantages of computers.

Contrast is redundant there (comparison involves contrast!), but that doesn't stop teachers from using it constantly.

Some alternatives are: expound upon, discuss, talk about, write on.

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