His face split into a wide smile.

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vil

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Dear teachers,

Would you be kind enough tell to me your opinion about the following sentences?

1. His face split into a wide smile.
2. His good-looking face creased into a smile on seeing John.
3. His face, which had been grave, suddenly broke into a brillant, malicious smile.
4. For a second a slight smile crossed the Master's face.
5. Suddenly Roy's face. which had been sombre, set, and haunted, lit up in his most lively and impish smile.
6. A little smile touched his lips.
7. A face wreathed in smiles.

Regards.

V.
 

EnglishRyan

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Hey vil,

Numbers 1-6 refer to a person who is starting to smile. Number 7 refers to someone who is already smiling.

Good luck!
Ryan
 

vil

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Hi Ryan,

Thank you for your explanation. My question was whether these sentences sound well. For me as a NES is difficult to rationalize this diversity of verbs in combination with “smile” as split into, creased into, broke into, crossed, lit up, touched, wreathed as well as to control the proper connotation at different situations. (please see the examples below).

Could you explain me the meaning of the following sentences (especially the expressions in bold).:

“She gave me a knowing smile.”

“He (Jean Gebser) died on May 14, 1973 with a soft and knowing smile.”
I know his words “When we are born we cry and weep, when we die we should smile.”

“The wrapper's artwork was printed onto a promotional lapel button: Devil Girl giving a knowing wink and a voluptuous smile to the reader while saying "Eat me!".”

Regards.

V.
 

EnglishRyan

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Hey vil,


Sorry my reply was so brief before (although this one will be pretty brief to - time for bed!)

When someone gives you a 'knowing' smile, it is a smile with understanding behind it.

For example, an elderly couple are at a party and hear a song that reminds them of their lives together as young lovers. The wife gives her husband a 'knowing smile' but does not say a word. The other members of the party do not notice this exchange.

I would imagine a voluptuous smile to be one that is enticing sexually. In your example, however, it is probably delivered to tease someone (i.e. 'eat me!')

Anyone else have a take? Sorry vil, hope that was helpful somehow :p

Ryan
 

vil

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Hi Ryan,

Thank you again for your attention. Thank you for your explanation at your last reply; it's been very helpful. I was much taken with the example concerning “knowing smile”.

There are further meaning in relation to “knowing” and ”soft” as well as some more examples concerning their collocation in combination with “smile”.

knowing = full of suggestion, telling, meaning, portentous, significant
soft = tender, loving, delicate, limp

Then with a queer, knowing smile on her face she made to go.
"Right," says Shirley, with a knowing smile.
Harry, for his part, exchanged a knowing smile with Papaioannou, then went on in the direction of the village.
Karen smiled a secretively knowing smile.

A soft smile passed over Helen's normally serious face.

Regards.

V.
 
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