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How do we differentiate between reach and outreach while using in a sentence. Say,

We need to reach/outreach the opposition to get the bill cleared.

Which option will be better suited and why?

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  • Are you thinking of out reach as in reaching further?
    – Peter
    Jan 18, 2016 at 19:28
  • @Peter I was just going through the newspaper where I found this sentence: An outreach by the PM to the opposition can only attempted if there is an assurance that it will be treated with dignity. So, I am just trying to figure out as how reach and outreach differ in the context when using in a sentence. Because, the literal meaning of both is almost same. Jan 18, 2016 at 19:38
  • Outreach in this context means a reaching out to, making contact with with the subcontext that it is over a divide. I believe your example is about Modi and the Gandhis, in which case @Era's definition below is correct, a targetted effort. An equivalent phrase using reach might be: "The PM's reach across the divide"
    – Peter
    Jan 19, 2016 at 2:11

2 Answers 2

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Outreach is a noun. The associated verb is To reach out.

Reaching out is not the same thing as reaching. Outreach is a concerted and targeted effort to get a message to a certain group, whereas reach simply describes how widespread or accessible your message is in general. For example, "Are we reaching senior citizens?" means, "Is our message getting to senior citizens?" while "Are we reaching out to senior citizens?" means, "Are we making a targeted effort to get our message to senior citizens?".

Outreach is, I think, sometimes used as a verb now in the realm of politics, where it has become a kind of buzzword. However, to my (native speaker of AmE) ears it sounds weird to use it that way, so I don't recommend it.

In choosing between reach or reach out, either could work but they mean different things.

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First, let's look at what is meant by outreach:

Outreach is an activity of providing services to any populations who might not otherwise have access to those services.

From Wikipedia

Thus, I'd say reach is the better suited term here unless you are wanting to cause drama as outreach would make it seem like the opposition are dumb or have some other issue so they don't see what they could do here as a way of interpreting the access to a service.

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