Kathy 發問於 社會及文化語言 · 8 年前

A question of English phrase

Can anybody tell me what it exactly means when a male friend told to my friend

about "beautiful is an understatement"? Does it mean someone imply

something and have some hidden message in a negative way?

4 個解答

評分
  • 8 年前
    最愛解答

    "Beautiful is an understatement" is an all positive statement of praise and admiration, with absolutely no negative implication or hidden message.

    The male friend simply meant your friend was more than just "beautiful". This could refer to her extreme beauty, or other positive characters in addition to being beautiful, or both.

    2013-03-24 16:04:50 補充:

    That said, it is of course possible to use all positive words in a negative way. For example, telling a short person that he is very tall, a very plain looking person that he is very handsome etc. When used in such a sarcastic way, it is not difficult for anyone to notice its intention.

    2013-03-25 11:39:59 補充:

    I apologise for using the wrong example regarding tall and short for positive and negative. Both tall and short are postive, although they are opposite height-wise.

    2013-03-25 14:02:57 補充:

    I think we all agree that the phrase "beautiful is an understatement" means "you are more than just beautiful", without any negative implication, if it is used sincerely and not sacastically.

    2013-03-25 14:03:20 補充:

    If your friend's suspicion is only based on not understanding the phrase, then there is no reason to not take it at face value. If there is any indication that her male friend is being sarcastic, then nothing he said should be taken as positive.

    資料來源: my past learning
  • 8 年前

    We cannot tell about the sincerity of the person using the phrase but the phrase itself carries no negative implications.

  • 匿名
    8 年前

    More information needed to decide whether these words are negative, for example

    the context and the tone.

  • 8 年前

    ~ a statement that is not strong enough to express how beautiful your friend really is.

    He may be sincere or ....

    Since he said it directly to your friend, one has to think on the negative side as well.

    Some men are very good at toying with words. He may just flatter your friend.

    One never knows.

    2013-03-25 07:26:25 補充:

    One can take the phrase at face value. If one take this phrase out of context, there is absolutely no negative implication. I couldn’t agree more with eicachan. Should 發問者 not mention “imply” and “negative side”, I would not elaborate on it. I just put in my two cents. Thanks for the correction.

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