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What are 'connotations'?

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'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