As a non-native English speaker, I sometimes feel my speech/texts sound or look weird. I am experiencing such a situation now.

I am trying to tell someone else I just read their document in a very quick way, got the main idea, and feel that it is not the document I exactly want.

I tried "I just read it roughly, just a thought, it does not look like what I want." This sounds unnatural to me.

Can it be fixed to sound more natural?

  • 1
    Better to say "I glanced at it" or "I looked at it briefly" or even "I took a look at it." – Robusto Mar 27 '14 at 14:18

roughly relates to quick estimates or drafts of a document (e.g. a proposal). What you want to give is a quick, first impression kind of reply.

There are different ways to say this.

At first glance, it doesn't seem to be what I want/need.

This implies, however, that you might give it a second glance. If you don't, you can try:

  • After skimming this, it's not quite what I want/need.
  • At a glance (or, I glanced at it;), it doesn't seem to be quite what I want/need.
  • I scanned this, but it's not exactly to be what I want/need.
  • I did look it over; it's not quite what I need.

Try using, "I skimmed the contents, and it's not what I had in mind."


"I grazed the contents, and it's not what I had in mind."

  • 2
    Don't you mean 'browsed'? I've never come across an equivalent metaphorical use of 'graze'. – Edwin Ashworth Mar 27 '14 at 14:32
  • I agree with Edwin, grazed just isn't used that way. I'd even say "read roughly" is better. – Kevin Mar 27 '14 at 14:56

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