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ESL forum > Grammar and Linguistics > sympathetic or kind?    

sympathetic or kind?


sympathetic or kind?
Hi there!

Iīve got a question and I am sure you can help me. I am revising false friends with my students and in one of the exercises we have to choose between sympathetic or kind.

Begonia is a very ________________ (kind /sympathetic) person.

The answer according to the key is "kind", but why canīt we use sympathetic here? because of "very" perhaps?.

Thanks in advance.

17 Jan 2012      


Hi there, 

I think that unless you have more information about Begonia you could really use either word because they mean something slightly different.

Kind is a bit more general - nice, friendly, helps others
Sympathetic means being nice to someone when they are sad, especially listening to tehm and trying to understand how they feel. 

So when someone is generally being nice and friendly and helpful, they īre kind. When your cat dies and they sit and listen to you talk about what a lovely cat it was and hold your hand when you cry, they īre being sympathetic.

Hope that helps!


17 Jan 2012     

United States

You are right,they are both correct.

17 Jan 2012     


Thank you very much, kvboyle and douglas !!

17 Jan 2012