Saturday, March 17, 2007

Asking Difficult Question

Saturday, March seventeenth, two thousand and seven

Many similar English words often drive me nuts these days, actually. So I asked an American teacher a question in a free talk English lesson today because the teacher usually tend to be quiet and not to prepare interesting topics. I asked him the following question:

"I'd like to know the differences between these words - appropriate, suitable, proper and fit. Because the meanings sound very similar to me, according to my English-Japanese dictionary."

He wasn't able to answer exactly how different they are. To tell the truth, a young Japanese boy asked me the same question the other day, of course I couldn't explain the differences at all. I just advised him like this - "Don't worry about making mistakes. I think most native English speakers don't care if you can't use appropriate words in your English. If you want to master the correct usages, it would be the best way to read a lot of correct example sentences and try to use those sentences in your English even if you might make some mistakes. As you gain your experience, you'll be able to learn what you want to know. Anyway, the only way to gain experience is to make mistakes." haha... The last one is what I mentioned yesterday on this blog space. :)

After the lessons, I realized it can be a good way for learning the usages of appropriate words to use English-English dictionary. Let me quote the meanings of the above words from my dictionary below... Umm... I'm confused again. X(

"quoted from LONGMAN Dictionary of Contemporary English"
appropriate : correct or suitable for a particular time, situation, or purpose
suitable : having the right qualities for a particular person, purpose, or situation
proper : right, suitable, or correct / socially or legally correct and acceptable
fit : suitable or good enough for something

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