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  1. Sheetala2002
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    #1

    Difference between woeful & awful

    What is the difference between woeful & awful? under what circumstances I can make use of these words?


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    #2

    Re: Difference between woeful & awful

    (Not a teacher)

    Woeful means something is full of woe, or unhappy. A woeful person is an unhappy person. A woeful melody is an unhappy melody; one that evokes sadness.

    Awful most commonly is used to mean unpleasant, really bad. An awful person is a mean person. An aweful melody is a melody that isn't pleasant to listen to.

    Awful can also be used to mean 'full of awe', or creating awe in oneself - "The awful image of the Earth as seen from the moon." for example. This is much rarer than the first meaning, although it is the literal meaning of the word.

    Informally, awful is also used as an adverb to mean 'very' - 'He was an awful good artist'.

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    #3

    Re: Difference between woeful & awful

    Excuse me, please. I would like to put another similar word into play.

    Quote Originally Posted by Linguist__ View Post
    Awful can also be used to mean 'full of awe', or creating awe in oneself - "The awful image of the Earth as seen from the moon." for example. This is much rarer than the first meaning, although it is the literal meaning of the word.
    Do you mean the literal meanings of "awful" and "awesome" are close?

  2. Barb_D's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: Difference between woeful & awful

    The dictionary definition, yes.

    However, in practical use in the US, "awful" is not used that way. If you say "It was an awful sight" I would assume you meant horrible, not awe-inspiring.
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

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