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    #1

    sharp, keen, acute

    Dear teachers,

    Would you be kind enough to explain to me the usage of “keen”, “sharp” and “acute” in the following sentences?


    • It awakened in her a keen desire for relation.
    • But now.. this keen yearning of his stomach was tickled hugely by the sharp, salty bacon.
    • ..his unrest had been sharp and painful.
    • John took his hand from under her arm, his sensation was so sharp and confused.
    • If I could go out of life now, without too sharp a pang, it would be well for me, I thought.
    • The dull monotonous ache of hunger ahd now become a sharp and insistent pang.
    • At twelve they returned and after that, naturally, the curiosity in regard to her grew monumentarily sharper.
    • The conservation was interrupted by a service call, and never resumed about this particulat woman, but the effect on Clyde was sharp.
    • Never had he read fiction with such keen zest as he studied these books.
    • ..when two months wore away, and day after day the post arrived and brought nothing for me, I fell a prey to the keenest anxiety.
    • But one of Magnus’s strongest instincts, one of his keenest desires, was to be, if only for a short time, the master.
    • Vanamee’s unhappiness was too keen this night for him to dwell long upon the vagaries of his mind.
    • The child tugging at her nipples gave her a physical satisfaction a thousanfd times more acute and exquisite than the clumsy careness of George Augustus.
    • At this point Mary, who had been standing in the background, observing her father’s paroxysm and his manner towards Nessie with an expression of acute anxiety, came forward and said coaxingly.
    • Renwick..observed her clear profile, the faint colour stirring in her soft cheek, her unwonted animation, with a strange satisfaction, a sense of pleasure more acute than that with which she viewed the countryside.

    I felt a sharp pain.
    I felt a keen pain.
    I felt an acute pain.

    Thank you for your efforts.

    Regards,

    V.

  1. csheywood's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: sharp, keen, acute

    Quote Originally Posted by vil View Post
    Dear teachers,

    Would you be kind enough to explain to me the usage of “keen”, “sharp” and “acute” in the following sentences?
    ....

    I felt a sharp pain.
    I felt a keen pain.
    I felt an acute pain.

    Thank you for your efforts.

    Regards,

    V.
    'sharp' and 'acute' are much more similar in use, especially when referring to pain; they indicate something sudden, while 'keen' has a more optimistic meaning so it doesn't sound right (to me) even though it is right.
    Perhaps you will find this useful:
    keen - Definition from Longman English Dictionary Online

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