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    • Join Date: Apr 2008
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    #1

    simple vs. easy

    What's the difference between simple and easy in the following sentence:

    It is the easiest / simplest question.

  1. #2

    Re: simple vs. easy

    Quote Originally Posted by Clark View Post
    What's the difference between simple and easy in the following sentence:

    It is the easiest / simplest question.

    It should be "the simplest question" since "easy" is usually used for humans.


    • Join Date: Apr 2008
    • Posts: 1,571
    #3

    Re: simple vs. easy

    Quote Originally Posted by LeUyenHoc View Post
    It should be "the simplest question" since "easy" is usually used for humans.
    Do you mean to say that 'an easy exam' is ungrammatical?

  2. LwyrFirat's Avatar

    • Join Date: Sep 2007
    • Posts: 343
    #4

    Re: simple vs. easy

    Quote Originally Posted by LeUyenHoc View Post
    It should be "the simplest question" since "easy" is usually used for humans.
    I don't think this statement is correct. Yes maybe they are not synonyms but we can't say that easy is usually for humans. As far as I know simple is the opposite of complex and easy can mean less tiring.
    A native english teacher would give more accurate answer.

    Not a teacher.

  3. Barb_D's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • American English
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      • United States
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    • Join Date: Mar 2007
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    #5

    Re: simple vs. easy

    This is a subtle difference.

    An easy question is easy to answer. You know the answer. You can clearly state the answer. What is 2 plus 2? That's an easy question.

    A simple question might look easy, but it may not truly be easy.

    For example: Do you love him? That's simple because there are only two answers: yes or no. But it may not be easy - maybe you are unsure of your feelings, or you love him, but know it's not a good relationship for you to be in.

    Even in exams, I always hated true/false questions. They seem simple, because either it's true or it's false. But then you start thinking about all the possible exceptions, and realize that true/false questions, while simple, are not always easy.

    On the other hand, someone with a PhD in theoretical physics might find some questions easy that are anything but simple!

    {not a teacher}


    • Join Date: Apr 2008
    • Posts: 1,571
    #6

    Re: simple vs. easy

    Thank you very much, Barb_D. It has crossed my mind that in terms of the subjective vs. objective, 'easy' is more about the former and 'simple' - about the latter.

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