SuperMemo (a computer program we promote quite a lot on Antimoon) uses phrases like "repeating knowledge" or "repeating words".
I've been using SuperMemo for years and have never given this much thought. But recently it occurred to me that this usage could be a "polonism" -- a phrase that was translated directly from Polish to English by a native Polish speaker and that is incorrect in English. In Polish, the same verb would be used in the two sentences below:
Please ____ what you just said. (repeat)
I have to ____ these formulas for tomorrow's test. (repeat? review? revise?)
I've been using SuperMemo so long that I can no longer judge objectively if "to repeat words" sounds OK or not. So my question to native speakers on this forum is: Does this usage strike you as clumsy? How do you feel about it?
How do you feel about "to review knowledge/words"?
How does "to review knowledge/words" sound to Britons? Is it understandable to the average Briton?
How about "to revise knowledge/words"?
Your help will be greatly appreciated.
In response to your examples:
"Please repeat what you just said" sounds fine to me.
"I have to REVIEW these forumulas for tomorrow's test."
However, if you were the teacher and you were giving the test, perhaps you'd want to revise the test you had prepared. Thus, you might say:
"I have to revise formulas for tomorrow's test."
To review "words" sounds fine to me.
"I want to review the new Polish words I've learned before tomorrow's test."
To review "knowledge" sounds a bit odd but I suppose it's feasible. You could review the knowledge you hold on a subject, but I don't really hear this expression used much as a native speaker (American).
To say "repeat knowledge" sounds awkward.
One could say they want to "revise their thinking" meaning to rethink a theory or a point of view.
To make my teacher example a bit clearer....
"I have to revise the forumulas for tomorrow's test."
Revision connotes correcting or editing. When I revise my essay, I'm editing, searching for ways to make my writing clearer, and looking for grammatical errors. So if I were a teacher with different forumlas on a test, I might want to revise my test to make sure it is clear and void of any errors.
As a student I'd review the forumulas; i.e. I'd study them the same way I'd study language vocabulary.
mjd: Thank you for your explanation. So, if I've understood you correctly, "I have to repeat these formulas" would sound awkward to you?
I would very much like to hear the opinions of others, especially British English speakers.
How about Aussie English speakers, mate?
I'd agree with mjd.
"I have to review these formulae." means you have to go over them again, look at them, study them, memorise them, etc.
"I have to revise these formulae." means you have to check them and correct any errors in them. Einstein revised Newton's formulae for the laws of motion and gravitation.
"I have to repeat these formulae." means someone is going to read them out loud and you have to repeat what they say.
The same would go for "words" but for "knowledge" it does sound awkward. You'd either review or revise what you've studied but not knowledge. You don't need to review what you already know. If you can call it "knowledge" you must already know it and, of course, it must be true. If it's true, it doesn't need revision. Also, knowlege is not something that can be repeated, you either have it or you don't.
Jim, thanks for your answer. Of course, I'm interested in Australian English as well.
Now I'd really like to get an answer from a speaker of British English. I've read in a dictionary that "review" in the sense discussed here is not used in British English. Supposedly the Britons use "revise".
Yeah, I'd say "repeat formulas" would only work in a situation where....say I had to repeat formulas or words spoken to my by another or others.
"After the teacher states the names of the formulas he wants, I have to repeat the formulas aloud so as to prove I know them."
Let´s repeat that last exercise, so that we can review(or revise) our doubts. But first, let´s revise(or review) those formulae because I are going to need them memorised!