He is very sharp!!!

wannaTalk

Member
USA
Korean
We, native Korean, say "He is very sharp" when we see someone has very keen ability to catch the points or see very delicate differences in the facts. It is a little bit different than "He is very smart." Smart seems more like "intelligent" but the using of "sharp" implies more like sharp??? cooler than Smart. Sorry, hard to explain.:confused:

You, native English speaker, might not use this expression. So then, what is the proper way of saying for this?

Thanks in advance!

p.s. Does cooler than smart make sense?
 
  • WestSideGal

    Senior Member
    English, US
    No, we also use "sharp" to refer to someone who is very intelligent, keen, and who catches on very quickly.

    Cooler than smart does not make sense, at least to me.
     

    beccamutt

    Senior Member
    English - US
    Hi Wannatalk,

    In English we do say "sharp" in the same way you describe. :)

    The phrase cooler than smart (i.e. sharp is a cooler word than smart) does make sense grammatically, although I'm not sure I would use cool to describe the word sharp. I'll leave the definition/use of cool for the countless other forum threads on that word.
     

    timpeac

    Senior Member
    English (England)
    We, native Korean, say "He is very sharp" when we see someone has very keen ability to catch the points or see very delicate differences in the facts. It is a little bit different than "He is very smart." Smart seems more like "intelligent" but the using of "sharp" implies more like sharp??? cooler than Smart. Sorry, hard to explain.:confused:

    You, native English speaker, might not use this expression. So then, what is the proper way of saying for this?

    Thanks in advance!

    p.s. Does cooler than smart make sense?
    We use "sharp" in exactly this way too. Like WestsideGal "cooler than smart" doesn't make sense - but since we use "sharp" in the same sense you don't need a circumlocution anyway:).
     

    wannaTalk

    Member
    USA
    Korean
    Thanks for all the answers. I haven't been use "sharp" because I researched this expression on internet and I found "She has sharp mind." So I just guessed that "sharp" may imply a little bit negative meaning. Since then I never use this expression because I don't want any confusion as giving them the opposite nuances, although I try to describe someone else positively. But now I can use it.

    I WANNA TALK properly!!!
     

    beccamutt

    Senior Member
    English - US
    Thanks for all the answers. I haven't been useusing "sharp" because I researched this expression on the internet and I found "She has sharp mind." So I just guessed that "sharp" may imply a little bit negative meaning. Since then I never use this expression because I don't want any confusion asby giving them the opposite nuancesdifferent nuances or opposite meanings, although I try to describe someone else positively. But now I can use it.

    I WANNA TALK properly!!!
    Your English is outstanding, WT! :)

    "She has a sharp mind" means that her mind (i.e. her way of thinking) is very intelligent and clever. I would say this has a very positive meaning.
     

    wannaTalk

    Member
    USA
    Korean
    Your English is outstanding, WT! :)

    "She has a sharp mind" means that her mind (i.e. her way of thinking) is very intelligent and clever. I would say this has a very positive meaning.
    Thanks for the pink corrections. I will try not to make same mistakes in pink again.;)
     

    Forero

    Senior Member
    Sharp does have other meanings depending on context. What you are describing is the most common meaning of "He is very sharp", but the same words can also mean that he has a sharp tongue or a sharp wit, if the context supports it.
     

    Josh_

    Senior Member
    U.S., English
    It's true the word sharp can have other meanings, but I'd say it's fairly clear that "He is very sharp" refers to being intelligent, keen, etc, as that particular phrase is generally only used with that meaning. I personally have never heard the phrase "He is very sharp" to refer to someone who has a "sharp tongue" or a "sharp wit" and would probably never use it as such.
     

    timpeac

    Senior Member
    English (England)
    It's true the word sharp can have other meanings, but I'd say it's fairly clear that "He is very sharp" refers to being intelligent, keen, etc, as that particular phrase is generally only used with that meaning. I personally have never heard phrase "He is very sharp" to refer to someone who has a "sharp tongue" or a "sharp wit" and would probably never use it as such.
    I don't follow this Josh - for me "wit" is a synonym for intelligence and so saying someone has a sharp wit is the same as saying they have a sharp intelligence.

    Ah in writing this it's occurred that perhaps "wit" for you only means being amusing? (Which it can also for me, depending on the context).
     

    Josh_

    Senior Member
    U.S., English
    I don't follow this Josh - for me "wit" is a synonym for intelligence and so saying someone has a sharp wit is the same as saying they have a sharp intelligence.

    Ah in writing this it's occurred that perhaps "wit" for you only means being amusing? (Which it can also for me, depending on the context).
    No, wit for me means intelligence as well. But since the intelligence aspect had been discussed it seemed to me (perhaps erroneously) that Forero was referring to someone being a wise guy or a smart ass, i.e. someone making snappy, snide, or cocksure comments. What I meant was I would never use the phrase "he is very sharp" to refer to that meaning.
     
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    timpeac

    Senior Member
    English (England)
    No, wit for me means intelligence as well. But since the intelligence aspect had been discussed it seemed to me (perhaps erroneously) that Forero was referring to someone being a wise guy or a smart ass, i.e. someone making snappy, snide, or cocksure comments. What I meant was I would never use the phrase "he is very sharp" to refer to that meaning.
    Ah I see. Well I suppose that if Forero did mean that we'll need him to confirm as for me "a sharp wit" is the same as "a sharp intelligence", which is the same as the original context given and not a counter-example.
     

    Josh_

    Senior Member
    U.S., English
    Ah I see. Well I suppose that if Forero did mean that we'll need him to confirm as for me "a sharp wit" is the same as "a sharp intelligence", which is the same as the original context given and not a counter-example.
    Yes, I agree. I think I was more influenced by "sharp tongued" in my response, which only refers to being a wise guy.
     
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    Forero

    Senior Member
    "He is very sharp" is unlikely to be negative. The other meanings are possible only in supporting context. They are something to be aware of but certainly no reason to hesitate to use the sentence if the main meaning applies.

    I think WannaTalk has captured the essence of the main meaning. I especially like the words "keen" and "delicate" in WannaTalk's description. ("Cool" though does not seem to fit.)
     

    Cypherpunk

    Senior Member
    US, English
    No, wit for me means intelligence as well. But since the intelligence aspect had been discussed it seemed to me (perhaps erroneously) that Forero was referring to someone being a wise guy or a smart ass, i.e. someone making snappy, snide, or cocksure comments. What I meant was I would never use the phrase "he is very sharp" to refer to that meaning.
    Well, I disagree with part of this. Someone with a sharp wit isn't necessarily a smart ass or wise guy. I hear this on a regular basis, and the meaning is 'someone who makes intelligent, though sometimes barbed/aggressive, comments'. I wouldn't say a person like that 'is very sharp', though. I'd just say 's/he has a sharp wit'.

    Also related: you can say that someone (usually a man) is very well-dressed by saying 'he looks sharp'.
     
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