I know this is a repetitive question to many posters, but still a problem for me! I've checked the Longman Activator, but it didn't help at all. I just wonder if it's only a case of collocations, or some distinctive elements that help a native speaker to realise when to use which!
I'd appreciate it if anyone could give me any hint!
1) allowed by law, legal - take power by lawful means
2) recognised by law - his lawful heir, a lawfully elected government
1) allowed or required by law - drink more than the legal limit of alcohol for drinking
2) based on or concerned with the law - seek legal advice, the company's legal adviser
1) in accordance with the law or rules, legal - I'm not sure that his business is strictly legitimate
2) that can be defended, reasonable - a perfectly legitimate argument
3) born to parents who are legally married to each other
I guess where meanings overlap, collocations play a role. Perhaps native speakers could spot some nuances within related definitions.
So much for making it clearer. ;)