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English definition of “discourse”


noun     /ˈdɪs.kɔːs/ US  /-kɔːrs/ formal
[U] communication in speech or writingInformal talking and conversation [C] a speech or piece of writing about a particular, usually serious, subject: a discourse on/upon the nature of life after deathLecturing and addressing Grammar:Discourse markers (so, right, okay)Discourse markers are words or phrases like anyway, right, okay, as I say, to begin with. We use them to connect, organise and manage what we say or write or to express attitude:See moreGrammar:Discourse markers that organise what we saySome discourse markers are used to start and to end conversations. Some are used to start new topics or to change topics.See moreGrammar:Discourse markers that monitor what we sayAs we talk, we monitor (or listen to) what we are saying and how our listener is responding to what they hear. We often rephrase or change what we say depending on how our listener is responding. We use words and phrases such as well, I mean, in other words, the thing is, you know, you know what I mean, you see, what I mean is.See moreGrammar:Discourse markers as responsesAs we listen to someone speaking, we usually show our response to what we hear either by gesture (head nod) or by a short response (Mm, yeah, really, that’s a shame). This shows that we are listening to and interested in what is being said. We call these short responses ‘response tokens’.See moreGrammar:Discourse markers showing attitudeSome expressions are used to mark attitude or point of view in speaking or writing.See moreGrammar:Discourse markers: sounding less directWe are careful when we speak not to sound too direct or forceful. We use words and phrases such as like, maybe, sort of to soften what we say (hedges).See moreGrammar:Discourse markers: um and ermWe can use um to introduce a new topic carefully:See moreGrammar:Discourse markers: interjections (Oh! Gosh!)An interjection is a single-word exclamation such as hooray, oops, ouch which shows a positive or negative emotional response:See more
(Definition of discourse noun from the Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
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