liberal

  • Parla

    Member Emeritus
    English - US
    I'm not sure what you mean to say, FH (the word is homosexuality, by the way).
    From the WR dictionary, liberal = favorable to progress, change, or reform, as in political or religious affairs
     

    fh3579

    Senior Member
    Chinese
    No, what I mean is that I can tolerate other people involved in homosextuality. I will not criticize this kind of action. Isn't that, an open mind, a tolerating attitude, what "liberal" means?
     

    Parla

    Member Emeritus
    English - US
    Homosexuality (again, please note the spelling) isn't an activity or "action" that people are "involved in"; it's a characteristic or quality of a person, like their race or their height or the color of their eyes. "Tolerate" would not apply.
     

    jokaec

    Senior Member
    Chinese - Hong Kong
    Can I say "He is liberal to homosexuality" which means he is open-minded and can accept homosexuality?
     

    winterlite

    New Member
    English - USA
    Can I say "He is liberal to homosexuality" which means he is open-minded and can accept homosexuality?
    In the context of someone's views/opinions, we don't say that a person with liberal views "is liberal." Rather, it is the person's views/opinions that are liberal. So it would be better to say "He holds/has liberal views on/about/regarding homosexuality" or "He has a liberal stance on homosexuality." If you wanted to describe someone with liberal views in general, without specifying the subject s/he has liberal views on, you could say "He is a liberal." However, depending on the context this may carry a negative connotation.

    Saying someone "is liberal" has an entirely different meaning.
     

    jokaec

    Senior Member
    Chinese - Hong Kong
    In the context of someone's views/opinions, we don't say that a person with liberal views "is liberal." Rather, it is the person's views/opinions that are liberal. So it would be better to say "He holds/has liberal views on/about/regarding homosexuality" or "He has a liberal stance on homosexuality." If you wanted to describe someone with liberal views in general, without specifying the subject s/he has liberal views on, you could say "He is a liberal." However, depending on the context this may carry a negative connotation.

    Saying someone "is liberal" has an entirely different meaning.
    Thank you very much winterlite! What's the meaning of "he is liberal"?
     

    Roxxxannne

    Senior Member
    English (northeastern US)
    To return to the subject of 'liberal views about' something vs. 'tolerance":

    WordReference Random House Unabridged Dictionary of American English © 2019
    tol•er•ance (tolər əns),n.
    1. a fair, objective, and permissive attitude toward those whose opinions, practices, race, religion, nationality, etc., differ from one's own;
      freedom from bigotry.
    Using this definition, the following sentences are allowable (in terms of content). "Although I'm heterosexual, I'm certainly tolerant of homosexuals. However, I find people who post photos of their meals on Instagram nearly intolerable."
     

    winterlite

    New Member
    English - USA
    Thank you very much winterlite! What's the meaning of "he is liberal"?
    When saying someone "is liberal," the term is synonymous with "generous," "excessive," or "frivolous." However, unlike those words, "liberal" requires relating the liberal person to a specific thing or action in order for it to make sense. Consequently, one will almost always say "He is liberal with [something]". The sentence "He is liberal" therefore makes more-or-less no sense on its own. Even with context, it sounds strange to simply say "he is liberal" without saying "with [something]" afterwards. Secondly, unlike its synonyms/antonyms, "liberal" is mostly neutral, it can be positive and negative depending on the context.

    For example, instead of saying "The chef used a lot of salt" you could say "The chef was liberal with the salt." This could be a good thing or a bad thing: perhaps the food needed a lot of salt, or perhaps the amount of salt ruined the flavor. Another way of phrasing this would be "The chef was liberal in his use of salt", although this is less common and more convoluted.

    To use another example, the sentence "The wealthy heir was liberal with his money" could be positive or negative. If the heir donated his money to charities, then it's positive. If he wasted his money on designer clothes he'll never wear, then it's negative.
     

    jokaec

    Senior Member
    Chinese - Hong Kong
    When saying someone "is liberal," the term is synonymous with "generous," "excessive," or "frivolous." However, unlike those words, "liberal" requires relating the liberal person to a specific thing or action in order for it to make sense. Consequently, one will almost always say "He is liberal with [something]". The sentence "He is liberal" therefore makes more-or-less no sense on its own. Even with context, it sounds strange to simply say "he is liberal" without saying "with [something]" afterwards. Secondly, unlike its synonyms/antonyms, "liberal" is mostly neutral, it can be positive and negative depending on the context.

    For example, instead of saying "The chef used a lot of salt" you could say "The chef was liberal with the salt." This could be a good thing or a bad thing: perhaps the food needed a lot of salt, or perhaps the amount of salt ruined the flavor. Another way of phrasing this would be "The chef was liberal in his use of salt", although this is less common and more convoluted.

    To use another example, the sentence "The wealthy heir was liberal with his money" could be positive or negative. If the heir donated his money to charities, then it's positive. If he wasted his money on designer clothes he'll never wear, then it's negative.
    Thank you very much winterlite!
     
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