outstanding capabilities and personality

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Senior Member
Chinese
Hello,

Could you please tell me whether it is idiomatic to use "outstanding" to modify a person's capabilities and personality? Thank you!

For example, can I say this?

Tom has outstanding capabilities and personality. He learns things fast, is good at tackling complex challenges and mixes very well with everyone.
 
  • apricots

    Senior Member
    English - US
    The use of outstanding is fine but this sentence reads oddly because if you split it you would have:

    -Tom has outstanding capabilities.
    -Tom has an outstanding personality.

    Stylistically it would be better if you wrote it with two adjectives such as:

    -Tom has exceptional capabilities and an outstanding personality.

    Also, even though fast is technically an adverb, a lot of people prefer quickly so: "He learns things quickly" sounds better.
     

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    Senior Member
    Chinese
    Hi Apricots,

    Oh, I see! Thank you so much for your detailed and useful comments!! I didn't notice the problem until you told me.

    Then do you think it's idiomatic if we change "personality" to "personalities" so that it can share "outstanding" with "capabilities"?

    That is:
    Tom has outstanding capabilities and personalities.

    And thank you for telling me that "quickly" is better :)
     

    Florentia52

    Modwoman in the attic
    English - United States
    Then do you think it's idiomatic if we change "personality" to "personalities" so that it can share "outstanding" with "capabilities"?

    That is:
    Tom has outstanding capabilities and personalities.
    Only if he has multiple personalities. :eek:
     

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    Senior Member
    Chinese
    Hi Florentia52,

    Thanks for your reply! Do you mean usually a person only has one personality? I don't know whether this is a common usage in English or not. :)
     

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    Senior Member
    Chinese
    Oh, I see. Probably I had a misunderstanding of personality. For example, can we call "happy to help others", "never give up and be resilient", "considerate and empathetic" as personality? If so, can we count them as different personalities if one has all of these features?
     

    Florentia52

    Modwoman in the attic
    English - United States
    You do indeed seem to be misunderstanding what "personality" means. What you heave listed are character traits or features. They all (along with others) form part of one's personality. Again, we don't speak of mentally healthy people as having more than one personality.
     

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    Senior Member
    Chinese
    Oh, I see. Thank you very much for your useful comments!

    Then do you mean I can use "capabilities" and "characters" to share "outstanding"? That is:

    Eg: Tom has outstanding capabilities and characters.
     

    apricots

    Senior Member
    English - US
    Character is also a collective noun so it should be singular when talking about 1 person. You can say character traits in that sentence though!
     

    Florentia52

    Modwoman in the attic
    English - United States
    Then do you mean I can use "capabilities" and "characters" to share "outstanding"? That is:

    Eg: Tom has outstanding capabilities and characters.
    No, you can't use "characters" in the plural here, either. I referred to "character traits," not "characters." You could say "characteristics," if you wanted, but wandering off into such vague terms results in a sentence that has little meaning. What are you really trying to convey with this sentence?

    [Cross-posted with apricots]
     

    popup

    Senior Member
    Chinese
    Thank you, Apricots and Florentia!

    I plan to use a sentence to summarize someone's capabilities and character traits at the beginning of a paragraph. Like this:

    Tom has outstanding capabilities and character traits. For example, he is always ready to help others. He never gives up even if confronted with big difficulties. In addition, he is a considerate and empathetic person who can understand others.
     
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