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    #1

    My American teacher said "diligent" doesn't mean a person's characteristic, but...

    We (Chinese students) often describe a student "diligent", and we think it means "hardworking".
    An American teacher corrected in a speach: "diligent" doesn't mean a person's characteristic, but it's used to refer the way a single task or job is done.
    I looked up "diligent" in the dictionaries, but I think the definitions tell me "diligent" indeed means a person's characteristic, unless I misunderstood these definitions:
    Definition in Collins Dictionary: Someone who is diligent works hard in a careful and thorough way.
    Definition in Merriam-Webster:
    characterized by steady, earnest, and energetic effort.

    I don't doubt this teacher's words, but I hope somebody can give me more examples to help me understanding this word.
    Doesn't "diligent" mean "hardworking"?

  1. Barb_D's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: My American teacher said "diligent" doesn't mean a person's characteristic, but..

    I have no idea why your teacher said this.
    A diligent student, a diligent worker - these are both fine.

    However, the teacher corrected you in a speech. not a speach.
    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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    #3

    Re: My American teacher said "diligent" doesn't mean a person's characteristic, but..

    Oh, mistake by carelessness! Thanks for your pointing out!

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    #4

    Re: My American teacher said "diligent" doesn't mean a person's characteristic, but..

    And did you mean in a speech or in speech? Were you just talking (in speech) or speaking formally in public (a speech)?

  2. MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: My American teacher said "diligent" doesn't mean a person's characteristic, but..

    Quote Originally Posted by registered View Post
    We (Chinese students) often describe a student "diligent", and we think it means "hardworking".
    An American teacher corrected in a speach: "diligent" doesn't mean a person's characteristic, but it's used to refer the way a single task or job is done.
    I looked up "diligent" in the dictionaries, but I think the definitions tell me "diligent" indeed means a person's characteristic, unless I misunderstood these definitions:
    Definition in Collins Dictionary: Someone who is diligent works hard in a careful and thorough way.
    Definition in Merriam-Webster:
    characterized by steady, earnest, and energetic effort.

    I don't doubt this teacher's words, but I hope somebody can give me more examples to help me understanding this word.
    Doesn't "diligent" mean "hardworking"?
    I think that your teacher was trying to draw a distinction between who someone is and what someone does. The term "diligent" mostly describes how a person acts. The problem with the attempt at distinction is that the way a person acts, if it is habitual, is part of who the person is.

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    #6

    Re: My American teacher said "diligent" doesn't mean a person's characteristic, but..

    Quote Originally Posted by Tdol View Post
    And did you mean in a speech or in speech? Were you just talking (in speech) or speaking formally in public (a speech)?
    I meant speaking formally in public.
    Thanks for your reminding.

  3. 5jj's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: My American teacher said "diligent" doesn't mean a person's characteristic, but..

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeNewYork View Post
    I think that your teacher was trying to draw a distinction between who someone is and what someone does. The term "diligent" mostly describes how a person acts. The problem with the attempt at distinction is that the way a person acts, if it is habitual, is part of who the person is.
    I agree.

    We may describe someone as a diligent student/clerk, but we are less likely to say they are a diligent person, in my opinion. If I say that someone is diligent, I am normally referring to how hard they work in the role in which I see them.

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