accomplished/ brilliant/ successful

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Senior Member
Dear teachers,
Langston Hughes is one of the most accomplished writers in American literary history.
Accomplished can be replaced by brilliant or successful?
Thank you very much for your help.
  • Florentia52

    Modwoman in the attic
    English - United States
    All three would be grammatically correct sentences, although we would probably use the past tense, since Hughes is no longer alive.

    The three words mean different things, so the substitution would change the meaning of the sentence.


    Senior Member
    Thank you teacher, but could you give me some details about the difference between the meanings of that sentence when I in turn replace accomplished with the others?


    Senior Member
    English Atlanta, GA USA

    I agree with Florentia52 that all three words are correct and that they mean different things. However, I see no problem with using the present tense in the sentence above. American literary history is on-going. Anyway, here's how I'd define the words:

    Accomplished = highly skilled and talented
    Successful = having attained fame and/or wealth
    brilliant = showing outstanding intelligence or intellect
    Last edited:


    Modwoman in the attic
    English - United States
    From the WR dictionary:

    expert:His daughter is an accomplished pilot.

    brilliant /ˈbrɪljənt/adj
    • shining with light; sparkling
    • (of a colour) having a high saturation and reflecting a considerable amount of light; vivid
    • outstanding; exceptional: a brilliant success
    • splendid; magnificent: a brilliant show
    • of outstanding intelligence or intellect: a brilliant mind, a brilliant idea

    successful /səkˈsɛsfʊl/adj
    • having succeeded in one's endeavours
    • marked by a favourable outcome
    • having obtained fame, wealth, etc
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