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  1. #1
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    Normal - Ordinary

    Hi,

    Is there any difference when I say "Jan is a normal girl" and "Jan is an ordinary girl"?

    Thanks.

  2. #2
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Re: Normal - Ordinary

    The first sounds more natural to me.

  3. #3
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    banderas is offline Key Member
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    Re: Normal - Ordinary

    Quote Originally Posted by LeUyenHoc View Post
    Hi,

    Is there any difference when I say "Jan is a normal girl" and "Jan is an ordinary girl"?

    Thanks.
    "Normal and ordinary have [a] very similar meaning, which is probably: ‘how you expect something to be, not unusual or special."
    There is a slight nuance in meaning, however, when we talk about normal people and ordinary people. If we mention normal people, it probably means ‘people who think and behave in the same way as most other people’. But the phrase ordinary people may carry a nuance in meaning about wealth and social status, meaning ‘people who are not particularly rich’. So we might say:

    These houses have been built for ordinary people to buy.
    …which contains an indirect reference to wealth. I don’t think we’d say:
    These houses have been built for normal people to buy.
    … because this seems to be commenting on behaviour rather than income."

  4. #4
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    Raymott is offline VIP Member
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    Re: Normal - Ordinary

    Quote Originally Posted by LeUyenHoc View Post
    Hi,

    Is there any difference when I say "Jan is a normal girl" and "Jan is an ordinary girl"?

    Thanks.
    Similar, yes. But I'm sure Jan would rather be called "normal" than "ordinary".

  5. #5
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    Re: Normal - Ordinary

    Hi,

    How happy I feel to read your comments. Thank you very much, Tdol, banderas, Raymott.

    From now, I think I can distinguish the difference.

    Regards.

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