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  1. #1
    thru is offline Member
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    Do they mean the same?

    Hi,

    "I'm not interested in music."
    "I'm indifferent to music."

    Does 'indifferent' also work here and mean the same as 'not interested'?

    Thanks.

  2. #2
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    Re: Do they mean the same?

    Quote Originally Posted by thru View Post
    Hi,

    "I'm not interested in music."
    "I'm indifferent to music."

    Does 'indifferent' also work here and mean the same as 'not interested'?

    Thanks.

    To be indifferent can mean that you can 'take it or leave it', that is, you are neither moved nor unmoved by something. To be not interested is more categorical.

    Of the two, your first sentence sounds more correct

  3. #3
    thru is offline Member
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    Re: Do they mean the same?

    Quote Originally Posted by fromatto View Post
    To be indifferent can mean that you can 'take it or leave it', that is, you are neither moved nor unmoved by something. To be not interested is more categorical.

    Of the two, your first sentence sounds more correct
    Hi fromatto, thank you very much for answering my question. It's strange why 'indifferent' means 'not interested' according to dictionaries. Could you give me some examples of 'indifferent'? In what situations could we use 'indifferent' rather than 'not interested'?

    Thanks.

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    Re: Do they mean the same?

    Quote Originally Posted by thru View Post
    Hi fromatto, thank you very much for answering my question. It's strange why 'indifferent' means 'not interested' according to dictionaries. Could you give me some examples of 'indifferent'? In what situations could we use 'indifferent' rather than 'not interested'?

    Thanks.

    I don't know, so the following is going to be a guess.

    Interested concerns the mind. Indifferent concerns the heart. I'm interested in politics, photography, sport etc. But, I'm indifferent to people or things that affect my emotions. 'I'm indifferent to her' can mean 'I don't care about her' or it can mean 'I'm not interested in her' !

    I'm interested in music, but I'm indifferent to Janis Joplin. I love seafood, but I'm indifferent to monkfish. It would be wrong to say that I'm interested in seafood.

    I'm sure this doesn't help and what we really need is an indifferent expert to jump in.

  5. #5
    thru is offline Member
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    Re: Do they mean the same?

    Quote Originally Posted by fromatto View Post
    'I'm indifferent to her' can mean 'I don't care about her' or it can mean 'I'm not interested in her' !
    Hi fromatto,
    Thank you very much for answering my question. Do 'I'm indefferent to her' and 'I'm not interested in her' mean exactly the same?

    Would it be fine to use 'not interested' instead of 'indifferent' here as follows:
    'Why don't you vote - how can you be so indifferent (to what is going on)!' (from dictionary)

    Why don't you vote - how can you be not so interested (in what is going on)!

    Best,
    thru

  6. #6
    Anglika is offline No Longer With Us
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    Re: Do they mean the same?

    To be indifferent to something means that the something is of no particular importance to you.

    To be uninterested [not interested] is more specifically that you do not have any interest in that thing.


    Why don't you vote - how can you be so indifferent (to what is going on)!' (from dictionary) How can it not matter to you what is going on?

    Why don't you vote - how can you be not so interested (in what is going on)! Bad English. "Why don't you vote? You can't be so uninterested in what is going on." = You surely must have some interest in what is happening


    "to be not interested in something" =

    Why don't you come to the cinema tonight?
    I am not interested in the pseudo-life of films.

  7. #7
    thru is offline Member
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    Re: Do they mean the same?

    Quote Originally Posted by Anglika View Post
    To be indifferent to something means that the something is of no particular importance to you.

    To be uninterested [not interested] is more specifically that you do not have any interest in that thing.

    Why don't you vote - how can you be so indifferent (to what is going on)!' (from dictionary) How can it not matter to you what is going on?

    Why don't you vote - how can you be not so interested (in what is going on)! Bad English. "Why don't you vote? You can't be so uninterested in what is going on." = You surely must have some interest in what is happening


    "to be not interested in something" =

    Why don't you come to the cinema tonight?
    I am not interested in the pseudo-life of films.
    Hi Anglika,

    Thank you very much for your help with my question. Now I can understand that they are different. Then, the two following sentences must have different meanings, don't they?
    'She is not interested in him.'
    'She is indifferent to him.'

    Best,
    thru

  8. #8
    Anglika is offline No Longer With Us
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    Re: Do they mean the same?

    They do.

    The first is [curiously] more active in sense than the second since to be indifferent is essentially to be passive about something.

  9. #9
    thru is offline Member
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    Re: Do they mean the same?

    Quote Originally Posted by Anglika View Post
    They do.

    The first is [curiously] more active in sense than the second since to be indifferent is essentially to be passive about something.
    Hi Anglika,
    Thanks for your reply. Do you mean the two sentences don't mean the same? What do you mean by 'passive' here?

    Best,
    thru

  10. #10
    RonBee's Avatar
    RonBee is offline Moderator
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    Re: Do they mean the same?

    Quote Originally Posted by thru View Post
    'She is not interested in him.'
    'She is indifferent to him.'

    Best,
    thru
    They mean the same thing. The person has the same attitude in both cases.



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