He's expressive

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Silver

Senior Member
Chinese,Cantonese,Sichuan dialect
Hi,

Last night, when I was at the English club, speaking English with others. At the moment, A was talking to others while I was sitting next to B. Sudenly a pretty woman walked by and I asked B to take a look. When A learned I was asking B to take a look at a pretty woman, he said:

He's expressive. (We all are friends. And also A is my friend.)

My question is: is it okay to say "He's expressive", if you use it, what does it mean?

Thanks a lot
 
  • Silver

    Senior Member
    Chinese,Cantonese,Sichuan dialect
    "He" refers to me.

    Put simply, does "He's expressive" or "Someone's expressive" sound good? If so, what does it mean?
     

    British_James

    Member
    British English - London, UK
    My first query is, is the person who said "He's expressive" a native or advanced English speaker? I ask because if he is then it would suggest what he was saying was acceptable in the context.
    If he is, my view is that he meant "He speaks his mind" or "He speaks freely" or "He's not shy", because depending on the situation people might not expect you to point out a pretty girl, or it might not be appropriate, and so your behaviour might have been considered "expressive" i.e. "uninhibited", for which see the Google definition, "expressing one's feelings or thoughts unselfconsciously and without restraint".
    If he wasn't an advanced speaker, perhaps it was a mistake and he meant something else - what that is, we can't tell without more context.
     

    DonnyB

    Sixties Mod
    English UK Southern Standard English
    The Oxford Dictionaries Online definition of expressive is Effectively conveying thought or feeling. But if you take a look at their 'Example sentences' you'll see that it's more usually applied to someone's features (face, eyes, voice etc) and it sounds a bit odd to me applied to a person.

    So I suspect it's the wrong word to use in the context here. :(
     

    Silver

    Senior Member
    Chinese,Cantonese,Sichuan dialect
    I would be puzzled too, Silver.

    Did your friend mean something like 'Oh, that one's always randy' about you?
    No, not really. I think he might mean "Silver is full of facial expressions" or "Silver is a lot of fun" or something like that.

    He's not a native speaker of English or I wouldn't ask the question; but his English is very good. But how good a non-native speaker of English could be? I'm always learning here. I know "expressive" is definitely wrong when just finished saying, and the meaning is clear, he just wants to say that I'm fun or something like that.

    The Oxford Dictionaries Online definition of expressive is Effectively conveying thought or feeling. But if you take a look at their 'Example sentences' you'll see that it's more usually applied to someone's features (face, eyes, voice etc) and it sounds a bit odd to me applied to a person.

    So I suspect it's the wrong word to use in the context here. :(
    Got it! It's very useful. I actually read all the threads about the term then I asked to see if it works. But it still doesn't work. :)
     

    suzi br

    Senior Member
    English / England
    Hi,

    Last night, when I was at the English club, speaking English with others. At the moment, A was talking to others while I was sitting next to B. Sudenly a pretty woman walked by and I asked B to take a look. When A learned I was asking B to take a look at a pretty woman, he said:

    He's expressive. (We all are friends. And also A is my friend.)

    My question is: is it okay to say "He's expressive", if you use it, what does it mean?

    Thanks a lot
    I might use it, but it doesn’t seem to fit in the context of describing you letching over the other members of the club. I can think of a few ways I could describe that, but you didn’t pose that question!

    “He’s expressive” fits in a context where someone is expressing himself (well, usually) say an artist of some sort, a performer, a dancer. Nothing like a dirty old man perving over the girls.
     

    Silver

    Senior Member
    Chinese,Cantonese,Sichuan dialect
    You're right. It still doesn't work. It's definitely the wrong word here.

    Perhaps you could ask A what he meant?
    I asked him just now, he said it means "Silver is good at expressing himself clearly to others". I wonder if there's a phrase I can use to replace this expression.
     
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