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    #1

    usage of sympathetic

    "He's a very sympathetic person and great fun."
    I found this sentence in the course book called Startout(upper int., p10).
    It was marked as "wrong word" meaning some word is used incorrectly.
    I assume that word should be "sympathetic" but I have found several examples on the internet, which prove the word "sympathetic" can be used as in the example above.

    Any help would be appreciated.
    Last edited by emsr2d2; 29-Oct-2015 at 22:28. Reason: Fixed formatting

  1. bhaisahab's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: usage of sympathetic

    There is nothing wrong with that sentence.
    “Every miserable fool who has nothing at all of which he can be proud, adopts as a last resource pride in the nation to which he belongs; he is ready and happy to defend all its faults and follies tooth and nail, thus reimbursing himself for his own inferiority.”

    — Arthur Schopenhauer

  2. Piscean's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: usage of sympathetic

    Words similar in appearance to sympathetic mean something like likable in several European languages. This is not the meaning of the word in English. I imagine the person who corrected the word thought that the person who had written it of someone who was sympathetic and great fun was using it in the wrong sense. This assumption is unreasonable if there is no more context. Was there more context?

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    #4

    Re: usage of sympathetic

    I think some teachers used to worry about ESOL students always using ‘sympathetic‘ when their mother tongue - e.g. French/Spanish/Italian - uses sympathique/simpatico/a. English ‘sympathetic‘ can mean that, but it often doesn‘t. The sentence ‘He's a very sympathetic person and great fun" could be used to describe someone who was inclined to comfort people. Maybe the OP‘s teacher was marking the sort of exercise that requires the student to demonstrate understanding of a word by using it in a sentence - and ‘full of fun‘ isn‘t the primary meaning of sympathetic.

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    #5

    Re: usage of sympathetic

    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 1455_001.jpg  

  4. Piscean's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: usage of sympathetic

    We can't be sure, but I think sympathetic was probably a mistake. If we describe someone as 'sympathetic', we normally give some reason - I was very upset when my girlfriend dumped me, but my flatmate was very sympathetic.

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    #7

    Re: usage of sympathetic

    Describing someone as a sympathetic person is perfectly fine. It refers to general tendency.

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    #8

    Re: usage of sympathetic

    I think here the person probably means nice/friendly, though.

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    #9

    Re: usage of sympathetic

    Quote Originally Posted by Tdol View Post
    I think here the person probably means nice/friendly, though.

    With the context given in post #5, I agree. However, I believe that I was right in saying that there was nothing wrong with the sentence as presented in post #1.
    Last edited by bhaisahab; 29-Oct-2015 at 15:32.
    “Every miserable fool who has nothing at all of which he can be proud, adopts as a last resource pride in the nation to which he belongs; he is ready and happy to defend all its faults and follies tooth and nail, thus reimbursing himself for his own inferiority.”

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    #10

    Re: usage of sympathetic

    I agree- I was commenting on the fuller context.

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