respected or respectable


Arabic - Egypt
Should we say:
He is a respected man. or He is a respectable man.
Can you tell me which is more accurate and why?
Thanks a lot
  • We can't tell you which is more accurate unless we understand what you're trying to say. Please explain, using other words, what you want your sentence to mean. In what context would you use it?
    I mean when a person is worthy of our respect due to his manners or status in the society, is he to be described as respected or respectable? Is there a difference in meaning between them?
    I would characterize the difference this way:

    "Respected" focuses on the reactions of others to him: he is in fact held in high regard.

    "Respectable" refers to his character: he is objectively worthy of respect. in most cases, a respectable person will also be respected, but not always - as, for instance, when he is ahead of his time, morally or scientifically speaking. If someone with all of the characteristics of Jesus of Nazareth appeared at an NRA rally and started speaking, he would be respectable, but I doubt he'd be respected.

    So, in your example, above, the individual is respectable. it sounds like he is also respected, as you refer to his status in society.
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