certainly & slightly overweight

fire fly

Senior Member
1. The doctor took one look at me and said that I was ___________ overweight.
A. slightly B. accurately C. certainly D. continuously
Why is “C. certainly” correct? Why not “slightly”? Many thanks.
  • Meeracat

    Senior Member
    I think the clue is found in the use of the phrase ". . .took one look at me". This implies that it was immediately apparent that the patient was overweight, hence the use of the term "certainly". If the patient was only slightly overweight it would probably not be immediately apparent and would require further examination (on the scales for example). Only then might it be confirmed that the patient was slightly overweight.


    New Member
    The two words sounded fine to me at first.:D It's really great of Meeracat to notice that detail.


    English- American
    Firefly- I would say A- slightly... but the reason why is in the social context. People don't go to the doctor to find out if they are fat.

    You don't ask a doctor if you are fat or not, so there is no need for a doctor to ever confirm fatness. Even in a medical setting where a doctor has the liberty to discuss a person's weight, it's going to be as a matter of degrees, and not as a yes or no answer as they would confirm something like if you are pregnant.

    A person might go to a doctor complaining of knee pain, and the doctor, sensing the problem is rooted in their paitent's weight, might suggest to the person that they are slightly overweight.

    I don't think that a scale is needed to know if a person is slightly overweight, and I also think that a polite doctor might say the person was slightly overweight even if they were very overweight so they didn't insult or discourage them.


    Senior Member
    I think the clue is found in the use of the phrase ". . .took one look at me".
    I agree with Meeracat - a doctor who immediately makes a response like that is usually commenting on a bad situation that it obvious or apparent. As one who personally struggles with this issue - those doctors who are willing to tell me the truth are the ones who will come right to the point - even if it is not pleasant.

    Discussing 'slightly' overweight is not something a doctor would do with such an instant reaction.


    Senior Member
    English UK
    A case can be - and has been - made for slightly; a case can be - and has been - made for certainly.

    I think it's a poor question:(


    Senior Member
    English (UK then US)
    I agree with the logic of establishing C as the correct answer, but looking at how much discussion has covered medical issues and logic, it is still an ill-conceived test for how well one has learned English. (Unless this was a science/premed/logic test :D )


    Senior Member
    AE, Español
    But it makes much more sense to notice a less amount with one look. this is the interesting one and worth saying, not the opposite.
    We can just as well argue that since this is a retelling of the event that there is some room to question it's accuracy. One might exaggerate the situation in relating it for one purpose or another. I agree with Loob: a case has been made for either one.
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