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    #1

    watchful, vigilant, wide-awake, alert

    Dear teachers,

    There are the following four English adjectives,that have identical meaning in my native language, namely watchful, vigilant, wide-awake, alert.

    It is most likely that there is a subtle difference, which I unfortunately couldn't apprehend.

    Would you be so kind explain to me their usages in the following examples.

    1. The closer the danger , the more watchful they become against it.
    2. The working class ought to be vigilant to crush the reaction.
    3. The guardsman must always be alert.
    4. It was his first trip as trayelling salesman and he was wide-awake not to miss his chance.

    Thank you in advance for your efforts.

    Regards.

    V.
    Last edited by vil; 19-Dec-2007 at 13:41.

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    #2

    Re: watchful, vigilant, wide-awake, alert

    1-3 are fine, but 'wide-awake' to me doesn't fit in 4. It doesn't have such an active sense to me- being wide awake just contrasts with sleep IMO.


    • Join Date: Jun 2007
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    #3

    Re: watchful, vigilant, wide-awake, alert

    This Webster's entry may help you, in particular the explanation of the synonyms for "watchful."

    Tdol, I would have agreed with you about "wide-awake," but the folks at Webster's seem to think it means watchfulness, in particular for opportunities. This almost seems idiomatic to me---as though meant to be the opposite of "asleep at the switch."

    [not a teacher]

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    #4

    Re: watchful, vigilant, wide-awake, alert

    Hi Tdol,

    "being wide awake just contrasts with sleep IMO."

    Sorry, but I think otherwise. When you cast an eye in a thesaurus, you'll see the following information:

    wide-wake = 1. complete awake (your speculation)
    2. alert, watchful (my supposition)

    wide-wake = vigilantly attentive, open-eyed, vigilant, wakeful, watchful

    wide-awake = also very alert

    "She was wide awake to all the possibilities." (or "opportunities" - see above the Delmobile's post)

    The "wide" in this idiom alludes to the eyes being wide open.

    My lack of self-confidence gave me occasion to open the present thread.

    Thank you for your attention.

    Regards.

    V.

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    #5

    Re: watchful, vigilant, wide-awake, alert

    Hi Delmobile,

    Thank you for your well-judged explanatory note. Thank you also for the kindly shared Webster's link which did me a lot of good.

    Regards.

    V.

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