Brief versus Debrief

What is the Difference Between Brief and Debrief?


When to Use Brief

Brief can be an adjective, a noun, or a verb.

As an adjective, brief means short, like in the sentence below,

  • Write a brief reflection on a session you found insightful at the conference.

    As a noun, brief means a summary or short statement.

  • “Did everyone read the brief I sent out via email?” asked the manager.

    As a verb, brief means to prepare someone by informing him or her of necessary information.

  • As his aide, it will be your job to brief the director on all meetings he does not personally attend.

    When to Use Debrief

    Debrief is a verb. It means to question someone after the completion of an assignment. A spy will often debrief with his or her superiors after returning from the field, for example.

    Summary

    Is it debrief or brief? Brief can be an adjective, a noun, or a verb. As a verb, it means to give someone a summary. Debrief is a verb that means to interrogate someone. Though they are related, they are not interchangeable, and you must use each carefully.

    To summarize,

    Brief means to inform someone with necessary information.

    Debrief means to interrogate someone for information about a recently completed assignment.

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