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Hi,
What is the difference between smart, clever and intelligent?
a smart/clever/intelligent person
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Greetings,

the three synonyms differ in the following:

intelligent refers to intellectual abilities that have evolved as a direct result of education or favourable cultural impact; the word refers to someone who is capable of deeply and thoroughly analysing complex situations and making decisions that would be based on understanding all the intricacies of a situation:

intelligent thinking
intelligent teacher
an intelligent scholar capable of interpreting ancient authors, etc.

clever points to natural intelligence which one is born with. It refers to easily conceiving information (without probably perceiving all the subtle bits of it) and the abilitity to choose an optimum mode of behaviour in certain circumstances. The word often emphasises practical, pragmatic qualities of a noun it refers to:

He was clever though he did not have proper education.
She was clever; she knew how to use her money.

smart (quick-witted) combines natural intelligence + the ability to understand the benefits for the referent of the adjective in any situation:

He is pretty smart and will get his promotion.

Concerning usage, it should be noted that clever and smart are interchangeable when used as evaluative propositions, in which case the require the following construction: clever/smart for sb to do sth. They refer to the actions of a person in this case:

How clever/smart of you to have sent that letter in time.

Respectfully, Gleb Chebrikoff
Hi Gleb,

Thank you very much for your reply. However, I am afraid I can't understand your answer.
Does intelligent mean the same as intellectual?
What's the difference between bright and them?
Could you give more examples about those?
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Hello,
AnonymousDoes intelligent mean the same as intellectual?
In some dictionaries, you will find that it does, and I am sure there are contexts where this is so. However, for the purposes of this explanation, it is useful to distinguish between the meanings:

He had the intellectual capacity of a three-year old. = He was not intelligent.

Which means that, roughly speaking, intelligent is the one having great intellectual ability. Intellectual refers to the intellect per se; intelligent denotes efficient intellect.

Bright is chiefly used to refer to the natural ability of sb to understand the information given to him/her, especially if s/he is young and quick to grasp something which is presented in the manner of education or passing of the experience:

a bright boy/fellow
a bright pupil/student/young doctor

Respectfully, Gleb Chebrikoff
Hi Gleb,

Thank you very much for your answer. I don't understand what you said as follows:

"It refers to easily conceiving information (without probably perceiving all the subtle bits of it) and the abilitity to choose an optimum mode of behaviour in certain circumstances. The word often emphasises practical, pragmatic qualities of a noun"
What does it mean in the context?

"smart (quick-witted) combines natural intelligence + the ability to understand the benefits for the referent of the adjective in any situation"
What does it mean in the context?

"He is pretty smart and will get his promotion."
Does 'pretty' here mean rather or kind of?
Hello, Anonymous,

there are fields where scrupulousness and thoughtfulness are a must, such as science; when I say intelligent scientist, I picture someone who is properly educated to do the job+meticulous enough to understand every detail of, say, the experiment he/she is conducting. Clever salesman tells me about his natural ability to do business+act quickly on any business situation and get maximum revenues. Clever salesman is also pragmatic/practical.

As the definitions stand, clever and smart mean very similar things, the former being used esp. in British English (In AmE it can also mean 'slightly dishonest').
Anonymous"He is pretty smart and will get his promotion."
Does 'pretty' here mean rather or kind of?
Rather (to a fairly large degree, quite).

Respectfully, Gleb Chebrikoff
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Hi. I have my defination between Them. Clever how you can Solving the problems faster. Smart is when you have been learn about questions. And getting anwers from your teacher or books. Inteligent is how you observe the situtuation and getting solutions by your selv. And you Inteligent person like to thinking before the answer. 💖
What a *** good explanation!

Intelligent is about IQ.

Wise is about life knowledge.

Smart and clever are similar but you don`t need to be neither intelligent nor wise to be one of them.
Smart is more like being a fox, while clever is more about being a....somebody with ideas and ability to create something.
However it is not clear. We have very well discribed knowledge and IQ while we have unaccurate verbs like smart and clever.

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At the end we assume that intelligent is directly taken from the classic definition of intelligence from 30-40th. It depends where you live but in Europe the term intelligence was blurred and right now we can easily say that somebody is intelligent even when he is a dumb stupid person with 60 IQ score as long as he can for example dance. But usually we still think about IQ when we talk about intelligence.

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