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  1. #1
    kachibi is offline Member
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    Default 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

  2. #2
    5jj's Avatar
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    Default Re: Neighbourly, accommodating, etc.

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

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

  3. #3
    kachibi is offline Member
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    Default 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?

  4. #4
    kachibi is offline Member
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    Default Re: Neighbourly, accommodating, etc.

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

  5. #5
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    Default 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.

  6. #6
    kachibi is offline Member
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    Default 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.

  7. #7
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default 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.

  8. #8
    Raymott's Avatar
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    Default 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.

  9. #9
    kachibi is offline Member
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    Default 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?

  10. #10
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    Default 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

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