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    #1

    Synonyms with different tone

    I encounter this a lot.

    For example,

    Words like "angry" and "furious". Both have the same meaning but "furious" is a stronger word than "angry". Similarly, I have encountered synonyms but one has a negative tone while the other has a neutral tone.

    So, I'm wondering if anyone has some kind of guide or notes for this? Thanks.

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    #2

    Re: Synonyms with different tone

    Greetings,

    I am a high school pupil from Singapore.

    There is no general guide for this. Different words, in different contexts, may have either neutral, positive or negative connotations; they may have different tones as well. The best way is to ask native speakers, after that, make your own notes, and learn. This is the beauty of language.

    Cheerio,

    Pham Duc Minh Anh
    Last edited by phamduc.minhanh; 22-Sep-2011 at 20:18.

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    #3

    Re: Synonyms with different tone

    The problem is further compounded by regional / cultural differences. Also, words that usually have opposite meanings can be used to describe the same thing (as in 'a fat chance' and 'a slim chance').

  1. BobK's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: Synonyms with different tone

    If you want a very approximate (and untested!) rule of thumb, word-length is often an informal and unsystematic intensifier. So 'mad' < 'angry' < 'furious' < 'incandescent', and 'smart' < 'pretty' < 'beautiful'. But where does 'livid' fit on the 'angry' scale? And is 'pulchritudinous' really much more beautiful than 'beautiful', having nearly twice as many syllables?

    The answer is just to expose yourself to as many examples as you can.

    b

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