dreaded vs dreadful

Zhi

Senior Member
Chinese
I have searched this forum and looked up dictionaries, these two adjectives both seem to mean "very bad". Do they sound differently to you? Are they interchangeable? Thanks!
 
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  • Florentia52

    Modwoman in the attic
    English - United States
    Zhi, we need a complete sentence, not just a phrase, and enough context for the sentence to tell us what you want it to mean and in what situation you would use it. Both "the dreadful homework" and "the dreaded homework" are grammatically possible, but we can't help you decide which is best for the situation you have in mind if you don't give us more information.
     

    Zhi

    Senior Member
    Chinese
    Zhi, we need a complete sentence, not just a phrase, and enough context for the sentence to tell us what you want it to mean and in what situation you would use it. Both "the dreadful homework" and "the dreaded homework" are grammatically possible, but we can't help you decide which is best for the situation you have in mind if you don't give us more information.
    Hello Florentia52, thanks for your reply, the problem is I'm not choosing one of the two words to describe a certain scenario in my mind. I'm just learning them as new vocabulary, and I want to know the difference between them.

    Can I understand them like this: a dreaded thing = something you dread; a dreadful thing = a crappy thing?
     

    Florentia52

    Modwoman in the attic
    English - United States
    I don't personally use the word "crappy," but I thin you have the general idea.

    From the WR dictionary definition for "dread:"
    1. to fear greatly;
    2. to be very reluctant to experience
    Something dreaded, then, is something you fear greatly or are reluctant to experience.

    From the WR dictionary definition for "dreadful:"
    1. causing great dread, fear, or terror
    2. extremely bad, unpleasant, or offensive
     
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