Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 14
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Student or Learner
      • Native Language:
      • Chinese
      • Home Country:
      • Hong Kong
      • Current Location:
      • Hong Kong

    • Join Date: Jan 2012
    • Posts: 131
    • Post Thanks / Like
    #1

    Neighbourly, accommodating, etc.

    If I want to describe a very helpful colleague in my office (who always helps other colleagues solve their problems related to work, personal affairs, etc.), are these adjectives appropriate/ natural to native speakers?

    -caring
    -neighbourly
    -accommodating
    -benevolent
    -considerate
    -sympathetic
    -beneficent

  1. 5jj's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Retired English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • England
      • Current Location:
      • Czech Republic

    • Join Date: Oct 2010
    • Posts: 28,167
    • Post Thanks / Like
    #2

    Re: Neighbourly, accommodating, etc.

    If you are talking about a colleague, then only these work, in my opinion:

    caring.....accommodating....considerate .....sympathetic

    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Student or Learner
      • Native Language:
      • Chinese
      • Home Country:
      • Hong Kong
      • Current Location:
      • Hong Kong

    • Join Date: Jan 2012
    • Posts: 131
    • Post Thanks / Like
    #3

    Re: Neighbourly, accommodating, etc.

    Regarding "sympathetic", it always gives me an impression that it is used to describe miserable situations that you feel sorry/ pity for something sad (so that it does not seem natural for describing a colleague who simply likes to help others, which is not sad at all.)

    Is it true? How do native speakers perceive "sympathetic" this adjective?

    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Student or Learner
      • Native Language:
      • Chinese
      • Home Country:
      • Hong Kong
      • Current Location:
      • Hong Kong

    • Join Date: Jan 2012
    • Posts: 131
    • Post Thanks / Like
    #4

    Re: Neighbourly, accommodating, etc.

    And how about "neighbourly"? Why is it inappropriate?

  2. Raymott's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Academic
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • Australia
      • Current Location:
      • Australia

    • Join Date: Jun 2008
    • Posts: 20,227
    • Post Thanks / Like
    #5

    Re: Neighbourly, accommodating, etc.

    Quote Originally Posted by kachibi View Post
    Regarding "sympathetic", it always gives me an impression that it is used to describe miserable situations that you feel sorry/ pity for something sad (so that it does not seem natural for describing a colleague who simply likes to help others, which is not sad at all.)

    Is it true? How do native speakers perceive "sympathetic" this adjective?
    You did mention "problems": "helps other colleagues solve their problems related to work, personal affairs, etc." Problems are not happy things.
    The person would need to be sympathetic to those people who had those problems if he was going to try and help them.
    "Neighbourly" is wrong because these people aren't his neighbours; they're his colleagues. We don't know what he's like as a neighbour.

    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Student or Learner
      • Native Language:
      • Chinese
      • Home Country:
      • Hong Kong
      • Current Location:
      • Hong Kong

    • Join Date: Jan 2012
    • Posts: 131
    • Post Thanks / Like
    #6

    Re: Neighbourly, accommodating, etc.

    I am happy with your explanation about "sympathetic"

    But how about "neighborly"? This adjective does not mean someone is a neighbor of someone else"

    [more neighborly; most neighborly] : helpful and friendly
    ▪ It was very neighborly [=kind] of you to help. ▪ the importance of neighborly [=friendly] relations between countries ▪ She was friendly in a neighborly way.

    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • Japan

    • Join Date: Nov 2002
    • Posts: 44,225
    • Post Thanks / Like
    #7

    Re: Neighbourly, accommodating, etc.

    Quote Originally Posted by kachibi View Post
    And how about "neighbourly"? Why is it inappropriate?
    It doesn't work with colleagues- it works with neighbours. Colleagues have contractual and legal obligations, but being neighbourly is a voluntary thing.

  3. Raymott's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Academic
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • Australia
      • Current Location:
      • Australia

    • Join Date: Jun 2008
    • Posts: 20,227
    • Post Thanks / Like
    #8

    Re: Neighbourly, accommodating, etc.

    Quote Originally Posted by kachibi View Post
    I am happy with your explanation about "sympathetic"

    But how about "neighborly"? This adjective does not mean someone is a neighbor of someone else"
    Thanks, I know that.

    [more neighborly; most neighborly] : helpful and friendly
    ▪ It was very neighborly [=kind] of you to help. ▪ the importance of neighborly [=friendly] relations between countries ▪ She was friendly in a neighborly way.
    If this is a quotation from a dictionary, you should give a reference.
    Where I come from, "neighbourly" only means "helpful and friendly" if it's done between people who could be neighbours. You might help someone in our street clean up after a flood. You might help someone who's having a problem in your local supermarket. It means being helpful and friendly merely because you're a neighbour.
    But it doesn't apply to how you treat your work colleagues.

    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Student or Learner
      • Native Language:
      • Chinese
      • Home Country:
      • Hong Kong
      • Current Location:
      • Hong Kong

    • Join Date: Jan 2012
    • Posts: 131
    • Post Thanks / Like
    #9

    Re: Neighbourly, accommodating, etc.

    oh ok!
    Actually the definition is from Merriam Webster's Learner's Dictonary.

    Ok, you said that "neighborly" can only be used on neighbors but not colleagues. Then what kind(s) of neighbor should it/they be? Not reduced to the residential one right? So it can be the stranger sitting next to you in a restaurant who needs your little help?

    Can't I help my colleague in the way which is like a neighbor?

  4. 5jj's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Retired English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • England
      • Current Location:
      • Czech Republic

    • Join Date: Oct 2010
    • Posts: 28,167
    • Post Thanks / Like
    #10

    Re: Neighbourly, accommodating, etc.

    Quote Originally Posted by kachibi View Post
    Then what kind(s) of neighbor should it/they be? Not reduced to the residential one right? As Tdol and Raymoot have suggested, one is normally 'neighborly' only with people who live near one,
    So it can be the stranger sitting next to you in a restaurant who needs your little help? Not normally.
    Can't I help my colleague in the way which is like a neighbor? Not normally.
    5

Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast

Similar Threads

  1. accommodating
    By GUEST2008 in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: 23-Sep-2009, 13:58
  2. accommodating individual differences; how to
    By mgraff in forum Teaching English
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 14-Nov-2006, 06:43
  3. accommodating?
    By Eway in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 08-Jul-2006, 10:29

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •