A newbie with usage questions

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Francois

Senior Member
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Jun 15, 2004
Hi,

I've just found out this forum, and it definitely looks promising to me!
I'm french, and I've been an English enthusiast for several years, mainly learning from books. I often missed a native speaker to answer usage questions, when to use one word or the other with similar meaning etc.
You can expect a great deal of post from me :)

Here are my first questions:
- what's the difference between "my speech went down rather well" and "my speech came across rather well" ?
- ... between "conceited" and "supercilious" ?
- ... between "hamper" and "hinder" ?
- ... between "sneer" and "spurn" ?
- ... between pull up/down/in/over (for a vehicle) ?

Thanks in advance!

FRC
 

RonBee

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Feb 9, 2003
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Francois said:
Hi,

I've just found out this forum, and it definitely looks promising to me!
I'm french, and I've been an English enthusiast for several years, mainly learning from books. I often missed a native speaker to answer usage questions, when to use one word or the other with similar meaning etc.
You can expect a great deal of post from me :)

Here are my first questions:
- what's the difference between "my speech went down rather well" and "my speech came across rather well" ?

It's a matter of perspective. The first might be said by the speaker, but only a listener could tell you (the speaker) how something came across.

Francois said:
- ... between "conceited" and "supercilious" ?

While they certainly do go together, they are not the same. (Certainly, a conceited person might be supercilious.) A conceited person is overly concerned with his or her self, while a supercilious person looks down his or her nose at others. ("Supercilious" is from Latin. It refers to raising one's eyebrows in disapproval.)


Francois said:
- ... between "hamper" and "hinder" ?

Those are so close in meaning as to be nearly interchangeable. I'll let Mike handle it.

:wink:

Francois said:
- ... between "sneer" and "spurn" ?

To sneer at somebody is to show disapproval. To spurn somebody is to reject that person.

Francois said:
... between pull up/down/in/over (for a vehicle) ?

As far as I know, only "pull up" and "pull over" are used. To "pull up" someplace is to stop your car there. To "pull over" is to stop your car by the side of the road, usually in response to a police order.

:)
 

RonBee

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Francois said:
Thank you for your answers,

To sneer at somebody is to show disapproval. To spurn somebody is to reject that person.
Do they both convey some lack of respect?

FRC

Yes, I would say so. Especially sneer. I suppose you could turn somebody down politely. To spurn somebody does seem to indicate a certain amoungt of rudeness.

:)
 

MikeNewYork

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Nov 13, 2002
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Francois said:
Hi,

I've just found out this forum, and it definitely looks promising to me!
I'm french, and I've been an English enthusiast for several years, mainly learning from books. I often missed a native speaker to answer usage questions, when to use one word or the other with similar meaning etc.
You can expect a great deal of post from me :)

Here are my first questions:
- what's the difference between "my speech went down rather well" and "my speech came across rather well" ?
- ... between "conceited" and "supercilious" ?
- ... between "hamper" and "hinder" ?
- ... between "sneer" and "spurn" ?
- ... between pull up/down/in/over (for a vehicle) ?

Thanks in advance!

FRC

Ron has done a good job with your questions. I just want to say that your English is excellent and comes across as quite polished. :wink:
 
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