Saturday, July 28, 2018

Words to use instead of 'Nice'

A common mistake among English learners is that they tend to overuse certain words because these words seem to suit every situation imaginable or due to the fact that learners lack variety when it comes to vocabulary.

One such word which is often used more than it should be is the word "nice". Take the following examples:

  • "How was your day?" - "Nice." 
  • "Did you enjoy your meal?" - "It was nice, thank you."
  • "What do you think of the new substitute teacher, Mr. Jones?" - "I think he's nice."
  • "This room looks very nice indeed. Did you have it refurbished?"
In all of these situtations, a different word could have been used that would clarify the speaker's thoughts. 

Instead, "nice" acts as a general positive term (which could even take on a less favorable connotation depending on the tone of voice used by the speaker).
What learners of English should keep in mind is that the more specific the language used, the clearer the message conveyed. If you are talking to a shop assistant and would like to have him or her show you a blouse for a dinner date, it would certainly help to say that you are looking for a "close-fitting, impressive" blouse for a dinner date rather than a "nice" blouse. 
Naturally, this is where the problems start when it comes to making a list for a versatile word such as this. There are simply too many situations where the word "nice" would fit well:
  • the party was nice ⇒ the party was a hit
  • that man is nice ⇒ that man is kind /generous
  • the cake was nice ⇒ the cake was delicious / soft / sweet
  • the cake wasn't nice ⇒  the cake was stale
  • your haircut looks nice ⇒  your haircut suits you
  • that book was nice ⇒ that book was interesting / comprehensive / utterly absorbing
  • your room is nice ⇒  your room is cozy / tidy / functional
The list could go on indefinitely. So where does that leave us?
Ask yourself this: "Who am I talking to and what do I need to communicate to them?" The purpose of speech often makes speakers change their register (read the correct register section in my post IELTS Speaking: The Basics for a brief explanation of the term). When attending a job interview, you will be careful with the wording of answers, which isn't the case when you're out for a bite with friends. 
Therefore the purpose of this post is to help learners of English who at some point are aiming to sit an English exam, meaning that they will be expected to write and speak on a variety of topics. For an exam, candidates will have to demostrate that they have acquired enough vocabulary to be able to communicate easily without using the same words over and over again. Those who haven't prepared well for their exam will undoubtedly be tempted to use the the word "nice" once too often. The purpose is to give alternatives to this all-purpose word to add variety to their answers. 
Having stated that the circumstances in which "nice" can be used are too many to cover, it is natural that the list is a limited one. Make sure you understand the meaning of the words on the list before using them as they are not synonymous. The point of the list is to help learners use a different word each time they are about to utter the word "nice".
In the long run, the main thing to do is to jot down a new word to this list that would substitute "nice" every time you catch yourself wanting to use it.

Words to Use instead of NICE

  • thrilling
  • exciting 
  • marvellous
  • superb 
  • brilliant 
  • magnificent 
  • spectacular 
  • sensational
  • splendid
  • enjoyable
  • pleasant
  • delightful
  • satisfying
  • agreeable
  • amusing
  • lovely
  • satsifying
  • entertaining
  • great 
  • excellent
  • wonderful 
  • fine
  • terrific
  • first-rate

According to the situation:
  • delicious
  • savory
  • tasty
  • comfortable
  • peaceful
  • restful
  • convenient
  • friendly
  • likeable
  • charming
  • sympathetic
  • hospitable
  • understanding
  • amiable
  • affable
  • elegant
  • accurate
  • careful
  • mild
  • decent
  • proper
  • acceptable
  • tolerable
  • attractive
  • calming
  • diverting
  • exhilarating

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