English synonyms usually mean the same thing, but not exactly the same thing. The slight difference is called nuance. Sometimes it is also called annoying 😉
I have this problem in coffee shops. I can’t tell people what size coffee I want. I want a big coffee, but I can’t say “big.” I have to choose between large, venti. tall, grande. I don’t always know which one of these is big. I have to think out side the word. I have to look at the price- more money, more coffee. Sometimes I just point.
This also happens when we talk about someone or something thing that is special to us. Sometimes the nuance is meant to show how important it really is- a lot or a little (love & like). Sometimes the word can show the way or why something is important to us. And sometime we REALLY want to know. Have you ever heard that somebody “liked” you, and then spent all night lying awake wondering what “like” means? Wondering exactly what words they used? Did they say they “like” me, or they “really like” me? Or that I am “funny” or “nice”? We can really drive ourselves crazy thinking about this.
English has lots of words to show some of these differences.
Here is an example of how I use the words. How would you use them?
I hope… you believe in yourself.
I dream… about peace.
I cherish… my education.
I value… freedom.
I believe… people are good.
1 Look at each word in the hearts.
2 Complete the statements each word begins.
3 Are each of these a kind of love?
4 Would you use the heart emoji for these words?
The heart emoji is everywhere, but it doesn’t always mean the same thing. This activity let’s us explore the nuances of the different ways we care about things and the words we use to express those feelings. In some ways these words are just slightly different from each other, but the importance of the feelings they represent can make even a little difference seem very big.