difference between respond & react

Discussion in 'English Only' started by hossein31, May 22, 2007.

  1. hossein31 Member

    Looking at this quote do you think what is the diffence between respond and react?

    When you respond to life, that's positive; when you react to life, that's negative
  2. Primal

    Primal Senior Member

    Québec, Canada
    Canadian English
    That quote doesn't make any sense to me! The way I understood it, "respond" means more in a verbal way, or in text, where as "react" means with an action. However, neither makes any sense in either place like this... You can't really respond or react to life. It's just kind of there. Life itself doesn't do anything to you that you can respond/react to.
  3. AWordLover

    AWordLover Senior Member

    Atlanta, Georgia USA
    USA English
    I think the sentence is emphasizing the idea that reacting is a automatic unthinking action, a reflex. Whereas, respond suggests that you have received some stimulus, you have considered what to do, and then you respond. I believe that the point is that you may think before you respond.
  4. Caroline89 Member

    England, English
    Respond, to me, is a positive action, react has connotations of bad actions as well as good. I agree with AWordLover that reacting is more spontanious and a reflex. Responding to life means that you learn form the mistakes life gives you and do something positive. This is just a waffly interpretation, its a difficult difference to define (alliteration... oooh) Hope it helps!
  5. aefavant Member

    Rio de Janeiro, Brasil
    UK, English/Portuguese(Br)
    I believe react is a much more phisical action, and respond (since derived from answer) more of a attitude.
    You may respond to a provocation by letter ou even by taking some action.
    But, You will react to a provocation in a first moment and it will lead you to a response, which may well be attacking back or just backfiring in a less phisically-confronting action.

    Any action demands a reaction, and in that case it breaks the stationary state.
  6. river Senior Member

    U.S. English
    In your sentence, "Respond" means "to act favorably." "React" means "to act in opposition."

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