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  1. #1
    englishhobby's Avatar
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    Default Character / personality

    Are these two words complete synonyms? Are they interchangeable
    If I were a native speaker of English, I would never shut up. :-)

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Character / personality

    Quote Originally Posted by englishhobby View Post
    Are these two words complete synonims? Are they interchangeable
    No and no.

  3. #3
    englishhobby's Avatar
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    Default Re: Character / personality

    Longman Dictionary explains personality as someone's character: personality - Definition from Longman English Dictionary Online

    Can't I use "character" instead of "personality" in the following sentences:
    1) He was an ambitious man with a strong personality.
    2) Despite their different personalities, they became the best of friends.
    3) He's honest but he lacks personality.
    4) He has a cheerful personality.

    ?
    Last edited by englishhobby; 25-Dec-2012 at 07:27.
    If I were a native speaker of English, I would never shut up. :-)

  4. #4
    Rover_KE is offline Moderator
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    Default Re: Character / personality

    It would be OK in the first two but it doesn't sound good to me in the next two.

    Rover

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Character / personality

    Quote Originally Posted by englishhobby View Post
    Longman Dictionary explains personality as someone's character: personality - Definition from Longman English Dictionary Online
    If you are going to ask about this, why not do it in your original post? If members ask a question, receive a response, and then you produce a quote that seems to contradict the response, we can sometimes get the impression that we are being set up. Do your research before you ask the question.
    Last edited by 5jj; 24-Dec-2012 at 22:16.

  6. #6
    englishhobby's Avatar
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    Default Re: Character / personality

    I am really sorry if I hurt somebody's feelings. If I did, it wasn't done intentionally.
    It can be explained by some peculiarities of my personality (or character?) - I am very, very inquisitive, that may produce the wrong impression.) I do sometimes research after starting a thread, when I am a little puzzled or surprised by the answer. In this situation I was pretty sure that character and personality mean almost the same and just wanted confirmation.

    Sorry again. The problem is that I not only want to understand the difference between the two words, but also explain it to my students. And I still don't know how to do it, because in dictionaries they are explained almost as synonyms, so I can't find words to clear it up for others.
    If I were a native speaker of English, I would never shut up. :-)

  7. #7
    Rover_KE is offline Moderator
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    Default Re: Character / personality

    Another dictionary (Macmillan) gives one definition of character as 'The qualities that make up a person's personality'.

    Both words have other, different meanings, so the answer to your original questions: 'Are they complete synonyms?' 'Are they interchangeable?' are 'no and no' – as bhai said.

    You can tell your students that the closest they come to being synonymous is in your example 2 in post 3:

    'Despite their different personalities/characters, they became the best of friends.'

    In all other contexts, forget it.

    Rover




    Last edited by Rover_KE; 25-Dec-2012 at 08:47.

  8. #8
    englishhobby's Avatar
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    Default Re: Character / personality

    Thank you.
    I've just found one article about the difference between character and personality (http://www.differencebetween.com/dif...s-personality/)

    Now that I've I read it, it seems to me that personality is more like an IMAGE of a person. Do you agree?
    Last edited by englishhobby; 25-Dec-2012 at 19:39.
    If I were a native speaker of English, I would never shut up. :-)

  9. #9
    Rover_KE is offline Moderator
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    Default Re: Character / personality

    Only in the sense of definition 5 below.

    Collins Concise English Dictionary HarperCollins Publishers::

    image n
    • a representation or likeness of a person or thing, esp in sculpture
    • an optically formed reproduction of an object, such as one formed by a lens or mirror
    • a person or thing that resembles another closely; double or copy
    • a mental representation or picture; idea produced by the imagination
    • the personality presented to the public by a person, organization, etc:a criminal charge is not good for a politician's image.


    Rover
    Last edited by Rover_KE; 26-Dec-2012 at 11:51.

  10. #10
    englishhobby's Avatar
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    Default Re: Character / personality

    I am sorry to boost the thread, but today it seemed to me that I got the difference between "character" and "personality" judging by my own experience. I was feeling under the weather because of some minor problems at work, it's a trait of my character - to worry about small things (that's my inner self). But when I came to work I pretended to be OK, (and I really felt better when I talked to some of my colleagues and even laughed with them), though I still kept thinking about those minor troubles. As a result (I am almost cetain about it) my personality is considered by others to be cheerful, easygoing and relaxed (everyone sees it), but my character is different from my personality - worried, not relaxed at all. Does this explanation "explain" the difference between character and personality?
    Last edited by englishhobby; 28-Dec-2012 at 19:13.
    If I were a native speaker of English, I would never shut up. :-)

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