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Thread: sympathetic

  1. Banned
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    #1

    sympathetic

    1 Eve and Frank are very sympathetic.
    Does it mean that I like them or that they like each other?

    2 Eve is very sympathetic to Frank.
    Does it mean that Eve likes Frank or Frank likes Eve or maybe both?

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    #2

    Re: sympathetic

    In isolation, sentence 1 means that Eve and Frank sympathize with someone else. Sentence 2 doesn't look natural to me.

    We rarely if ever use sympathetic to mean "likable".
    Last edited by GoesStation; 27-Jan-2017 at 18:23. Reason: To use the correct part of speech.
    I am not a teacher.

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    #3

    Re: sympathetic

    Beware of "sympathetic," which is a well-known "false friend" in English.

    http://www.englisch-hilfen.de/en/wor...se_friends.htm

    In many languages, it is similar to the word that means "nice" or "amiable."
    That's not what it means in English.
    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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