Aloud vs. Out Loud

Discussion in 'English Only' started by Edher, Mar 6, 2005.

  1. Edher

    Edher Senior Member

    Cd. de México, Spanish & English

    Is any of these words more common or perhaps more appropriate than the other for specific situations?

    Thank You,
  2. El Hondureño Senior Member

    New York, NY
    USA;English,Spanish,Brazilian Portuguese
    It's hard to explain the only difference is that aloud is an adverb, out loud isn't
  3. Artrella Banned


    I cannot find a significant difference. El Hondureño, look at this, it seems that both can function as adverbs. :)

    out loud
    audibly: aloud, rather than silently in somebody’s head

    :arrow: source

    out loud
    ADVERB: Loud enough to be audible; aloud: read the poem out loud.
    The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition. Copyright © 2000 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by the Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
  4. Edher

    Edher Senior Member

    Cd. de México, Spanish & English
  5. te gato

    te gato Senior Member

    Calgary, Alberta
    Alberta--TGE (te gato English)

    Just to let you know..both are adverbs...
    Example..."crying aloud for help"
    "Did I just say that out loud?"

    te gato;)
  6. cuchuflete

    cuchuflete Senior Member

    Maine, EEUU
    Back to the original question...."out loud" is usually, but not always, more emphatic than 'aloud'. Other than that difference in tone, they are interchangeable.

  7. half out loud

    If someone speaks half out loud, what kind of “loud” is it? Something like a murmur , a low voice or quite loud, a rather high voice?

  8. nzfauna

    nzfauna Senior Member

    Wellington, New Zealand
    New Zealand, English
    I'd say aloud was more formal than out loud. E.g. I would be more likely to use aloud in a business letter or academic essay.

    He read it aloud
    He read it out loud.
  9. panjandrum

    panjandrum Occasional Moderator

    Belfast, Ireland
    English-Ireland (top end)
    A personal sense of the difference -
    Aloud is in contrast to silently.
    Out loud may be the same, but could also be in contrast to quietly.

    I've not heard of half out loud.
    Looking at Google examples:
    Sometimes it appears as "half internally and half out loud" so that half refers to what is being spoken, not to the manner of speaking.
    Sometimes it seems to mean spoken indistinctly, perhaps mumbled.

    Does the context give any more clue?
  10. Thank you, panj, and here is the context:

    She turned first one way then the other, looking at herself in the bureau mirror. That's about as good as I can do, she thought. And then, pleased, said half out loud, "It's pretty good, though."

    By the way, what does as good as mean here? Can do go with an adjective good?
  11. panjandrum

    panjandrum Occasional Moderator

    Belfast, Ireland
    English-Ireland (top end)
    The off-topic question has now been asked in
    as good as

    Back to the topic :)

    I think in this context half out loud is very like sotto voce:
    ... in a subdued or low voice;
    ... in an undertone;
    ... quietly;
    ... to herself.
  12. Bedfordlee New Member

    Re half out loud: I agree with panjandrum. "Half out loud" makes no sense to me. Readers would stop and ponder. If the writer's intent is to make the utterance less than out loud, whatever that is, then go with something other than half of an out loud.
  13. foxfirebrand

    foxfirebrand Senior Member

    The Northern Rockies
    Southern AE greatly modified by a 1st-generation Scottish-American mother, and growing up abroad.
    "Out loud" can differ from aloud in connoting something inappropriate or involuntary. Something said aloud is audible, but "out loud" can hint at something better left unsaid. The verb blurt is often yoked with "out loud," and gossips speak of someone using inappropriate language, in church for example, "and she said it right out loud!"

    A set phrase "oh for crying out loud!" conveys a general objection to something that's just happened or been said, and it plays on the idea that one shouldn't cry in public.

    These are two words I give a lot of thought to, when choosing between one and the other. On the subject of propriety, it's always intrigued me that aloud is a homonym for allowed, and "out loud" sounds so much like outlawed.

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