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Key command words for answering questions in English

Analyse Investigate, break up into parts
Account for Explain, show you can interpret a subject
Compare Show similarities but also point out main differences.
Contrast Show differences
Criticise Analyse and judge
Define Give a short, concise statement of what something means
Describe Give a clear and detailed account of the subject.
Discuss Consider a subject, comparing strengths and weaknesses.
Evaluate Give your opinion of a subject, stating points for and against.
Examine Look closely into
Explain How does it work? What is the point? What are the reasons?
Explore Closely examine from a variety of viewpoints.
Illustrate Give clear examples
Interpret Explain and give your opinion
Justify Give good reasons for your views
Outline Summarise, giving an overview
Prove Support with references
State Present clearly and briefly
Summarise Give a brief account of the main points
Trace Describe the order in which things happen from start to finish
Created by: kathy.mullen