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Dear teachers,

- Would you please give me some adjectives that can fit in the following contexts and so have 2 different meanings ?

e.g. a) Julia was a handsome, courageous, AND cunning woman.
= positive meaning

b) Julia was a handsome, courageous, BUT cunning woman.
= negative meaning

- Could the following adjectives fit here? Could they replace the word CUNNING in this particular context?

1. reserved 2. coy 3. vulnerable 4. matter of fact 5. laborious

Would you have some more, please?

Thank you for your help.

Hela
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I'm finding it hard to see coy or vulnerable in a positive light.
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Hi,

Just a couple of added comments. 'Handsome' is an uncommon adjective to use for a woman. More normal would be 'beautiful'. 'Laborious' is not correct here. A task is laborious, a person is something like 'hard-working' or 'industrious'. These last two words are seldom seen as negative.

Other words that can have both a positive and negative sense? How about quiet, talkative ,careful, cautious... the list goes on and on. The 'and/but' tells us more about the writer's point of view than about Julia herself.

Best wishes, Clive
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Comments  
Hi, Clive

But doesn't "handsome" for a woman mean that she has class?

See you,

Hela
Students: We have free audio pronunciation exercises.
Hi,

But doesn't "handsome" for a woman mean that she has class?

No, it refers to her looks. It means that she is attractive or beautiful in a non-traditional, non-feminine kind of way. Somewhat of a masculine way.

Best wishes, Clive