The phrase "give an account of" is often used to request a detailed explanation or description of an event, situation, or topic. It means to tell a story or explain the details about something that happened or about a certain subject. This phrase is commonly found in formal settings like academic discussions, business meetings, and legal contexts, but it can also be used in everyday conversation. It implies a need for clarity, detail, and often a chronological order of events or aspects.
When someone asks to "give an account of" something, they want a thorough and clear explanation or description. It's about presenting facts or details about an event, process, or topic. For example, a teacher might ask a student to "give an account of" the causes of World War I in a history class, or a manager might ask an employee to "give an account of" the progress on a project.
Let's dig into its core meanings and usage:
The origin of the phrase "give an account of" is not precisely known, but it has been a part of English language usage for centuries. It likely originated from the literal meaning of the word 'account,' which refers to a report or a description of an event. It has since become a standard phrase in academic and professional discourse.
"The committee asked the CEO to give an account of the company's financial dealings over the past year."
- Business Journal, 2005
To help you understand when to use "give an account of," here are some examples from different situations:
The phrase "give an account of" is often seen in pop culture, usually in scenarios involving storytelling, explanations, or revelations.
Let's look at some examples:
Here are some alternative phrases that express the same idea as "give an account of":
"Give an account of" means providing a detailed explanation or description of an event, situation, or topic, often with emphasis on facts and details.
You can use it to request or provide a thorough explanation. For example: "Can you give an account of the events leading up to the incident?" or "She gave an account of her research findings."
Yes, it's typically used in formal contexts like academic writing, professional reports, and legal statements, but it can also be used in everyday conversation for emphasis.
While not always necessary, giving an account often involves providing evidence or proof to support the explanation, especially in formal or academic settings.
Yes, in storytelling, "give an account of" can be used to narrate events or experiences with detail and depth.
Yes, in legal settings, giving an account can be similar to testifying, as it involves providing a detailed and often factual narrative of events.
In academic research, giving an account of something involves presenting detailed information about a study, theory, or findings, often backed by data and references.
Yes, in business, it's used to describe or explain business processes, decisions, or financial activities in detail.
Not necessarily. While it often involves a detailed explanation, the person giving an account doesn't always have to be an expert but should be knowledgeable about the topic.
Yes, one can use it to share personal experiences or opinions in a detailed and structured way.
The phrase "give an account of" is a useful tool for requesting or providing detailed explanations in a variety of situations, from formal reports to personal stories. It's valuable in ensuring clarity and depth in communication, especially where facts and details are important.
Here's a quick recap: