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What are 'connotations'?

Average: 2.9 (17 votes)

'I'm not cheap, I'm thrifty.'

Connotations are a feeling or idea that is suggested by a particular word. They give us the emotional connection with words.

Words can be split into 'negative','positive' and 'neutral' connotations.

Let's take a look at some words that appear to be similar, but have connotational differences.

cheap / thrifty

cheap - (negative) a person who hates to spend money.
thrifty - (positive) a person who is very careful with money.

young / youthful / childish

young - (neutral) a person who is of a young age.
youthful - (positive) a person who  may not be young, but has all the good qualities of youth.
childish - (negative) a person who behaves like a child in a negative way.

thin / slim / skinny

thin - (neutral) a body size that is the opposite of 'fat'.
slim - (positive) used to describe an attractive body shape which is 'thin'.
skinny - (negative) to be too thin.

inactive / laid-back / lazy

inactive - (neutral) to do nothing.
laid-back - (positive) to have a relaxed attitude.
lazy - (negative) a person who does not want to work or use effort

timid / prudent / cowardly

timid - (neutral) a person who is nervous and shy.
prudent - (positive) a person who avoids taking risks and is careful.
cowardly - (negative) a person who is too scared to take risks.

proud / confident / conceited

proud - (neutral) to have self-respect.
confident - (positive) to have self-belief in your own abilities.
conceited - (negative) to be too proud in your abilities. To view yourself too highly.


Link: synonyms lesson

  • Angela has lost too much weight. She's too . She looks terrible.
  • My boyfriend needs to grow up. He acts like a child. He's . I don't like it.
  • Although he's 82, he has a spirit. He's still active and he loves life.
  • I wouldn't say I was cheap, I'm just careful. I describe myself as
  • Stop being so ! It's only a roller-coaster. Have a go on it!
  • It's good to have a attitude when you take a test or go to an interview. Have some self-belief
  • I don't like to take exercise and I hate anythink like hard work. I'm definetly . It's a problem, I know


"she's too skinny" I think

"she's too skinny"
I think the right answer was She's too thin or she's skinny.

Am I wrong?


so do I. actually, I filled

so do I. actually, I filled in "thin", but it's wrong.

all correct:)

I guess I'm good at filling in the blanks:)
what goes around comes around


Big Grin Do u know of a book/site explaining the differences between synonyms, e.g. to talk - to speak, happy - glad - joyous - merry - delighted - elated - blissful etc.


Ran into a pair in class - speedily and hastily - first said they are the same, then thought "more haste, less speed" "Marry in haste and repent at leisure" hmm haste has baggage: connotation; haste is messy, speed is efficient.

who is may

"who may not be..." suits better instead of "...who is may not be young"

unforgooten word

instead of "prudent-(positive) a who avoids...", the phrase "...a person who..." is more correctiv.

extra letter

instead of "timid-(neautral)..."timid-(neutral)..." is correcter

synonyms lesson

Is it wrong if i put "Stop be so childish" instead of "cowardly"?


cowardly / childish

The sentence should be 'stop being so childish'. '

'Childish' means to be immature like a child; whereas, 'cowardly' means being scared to do something.


very useful vocabulary. Thank you! Smile


It's wonderful that we can describe something in two ways tainting it a positive or negative meaning. Some people look youthful being much on the old side and some teenagers behave childishly or are shattered by their daily hardships and look a lot frayed at the edges. Sad


 Very useful information 

 Thanks for the lesson :)