reasonable,legitimate,fair

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Steven_

Member
Chinese-China
Hi everyone,

Is there a diffrence between legitimate, reasonable, fair ?

Can I use them interchangeably in the sentences below?

1)A week is a reasonable/legitimate/fair time needed to finish the work.

2) You made a reasonable/legitimate/fair point.

I don't understand the sentecen below.
No legitimate investigation has ever been done.
This is legitimate news, big news.


The word "legitimate" sounds a bit strange to me.

Thank you.
 
Last edited:
  • Keith Bradford

    Senior Member
    English (Midlands UK)
    There are no exact synonyms in English (except perhaps gorse and furze): all near-synonyms overlap on some shades of meaning, and vary on others. Otherwise, the answer to this and every other question will be "perhaps". Here are some possible nuances:

    1a) A week is a reasonable time needed to finish the work = It is the period that "a reasonable man" would allow*.
    1b) A week is a legitimate time needed to finish the work = It is the time permitted by law, contract, custom or practice.
    1c) A week is a fair time needed to finish the work = It is the time allowed to other people.

    * Reasonable man is a legal concept, defined in various English court judgments; I can send you details if you really need to know.
     

    Steven_

    Member
    Chinese-China
    There are no exact synonyms in English (except perhaps gorse and furze): all near-synonyms overlap on some shades of meaning, and vary on others. Otherwise, the answer to this and every other question will be "perhaps". Here are some possible nuances:

    1a) A week is a reasonable time needed to finish the work = It is the period that "a reasonable man" would allow*.
    1b) A week is a legitimate time needed to finish the work = It is the time permitted by law, contract, custom or practice.
    1c) A week is a fair time needed to finish the work = It is the time allowed to other people.

    * Reasonable man is a legal concept, defined in various English court judgments; I can send you details if you really need to know.
    Hi Keith, thank you for your quick answer.

    I have more questions.

    What does it mean bu " allowed to other people"?

    1c) A week is a fair time needed to finish the work = It is the time allowed to other people.
    I also wonder, what does "legitimate" mean below?
    I don't understand the sentecen below.
    No legitimate investigation has ever been done.
    This is legitimate news, big news.


    The word "legitimate" sounds a bit strange to me.

    Thank you.
     

    Keith Bradford

    Senior Member
    English (Midlands UK)
    ...What do you mean by "allowed to other people"?...
    If I allow a man a week to finish the work, it is fair to allow a woman a week too.

    ...No legitimate investigation has ever been done = No investigation authorised by law, contract, custom or practice.
    This is legitimate news, big news = Genuine news.
     

    Steven_

    Member
    Chinese-China
    If I allow a man a week to finish the work, it is fair to allow a woman a week too.

    ...No legitimate investigation has ever been done = No investigation authorised by law, contract, custom or practice.
    This is legitimate news, big news = Genuine news.
    Thanks again Keith.

    I heard people say,
    You made a fair point.
    Fair enough.

    Does fair here means reasonable ?
     

    Keith Bradford

    Senior Member
    English (Midlands UK)
    "Fair point" and "fair comment" often mean "what you say is reasonable and you have a legitimate right to say it, but I don't necessarily agree with you".

    "Fair enough" often means simply "yes".
     
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