How to Use Digress in a Sentence

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  • 0:00 A Clue to Listen
  • 0:22 What Does Digress Mean?
  • 1:15 Digress in a Sentence
  • 2:21 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Charles Kinney, Jr.
You might have heard the word 'digress' being used in speech or writing, but was it being used correctly? Or should 'digress' even be used at all? In this lesson, you will learn the meaning of 'digress' and when to use it.

A Clue to Listen

We have all probably been in a class with a well-meaning teacher who sometimes strays off the point of the lesson. Class starts and there might be a long speech, then suddenly the teacher says 'Goodness me oh my! I digress!' That's the clue to listen as the teacher gets back to the main point.

What Does Digress Mean?

Long ago, a digression in writing was used to give more information about something. Let's say a writer was writing about a battle. The writer would stop writing about the conflict and then perhaps discuss the history of the groups fighting the battle. Today, that would break up the flow of a story, but the modern use of 'digress' functions in much the same way,

'Digress' is a verb, an action. To use 'digress' in a sentence in modern speech or modern writing means basically the same thing: to temporarily leave the main subject you're speaking or writing about. When you wander off and start to discuss or write about something else, you are 'digressing' from your original point. Here are a few examples of 'digress' being used in a sentence:

  • We have digressed a lot from our first plan.
  • Let's not digress again from our topic.
  • I want to digress a moment and talk about something other than our main point.

Digress is like using a reset button in a sentence, a conversation, or a piece of writing.

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