Satisfactory / satisfying

chambers

Senior Member
français - French
Entre "satisfactory" et "satisfying" on a la même traduction en français.

Ces deux termes sont des adjectifs, mais quelle est donc la nuance alors ???

Satisfactory and satisfaying are both adjective. They are translated the same way in French = satisfaisant.

So, is there any real shades of meaning (or nuances) between these two words ?
 
  • Thomas Tompion

    Senior Member
    English - England
    To expand a little:

    If you were to ask at your daughter's school if your daughter was satisfactory, you would be told she did well in some things and badly in others. It would be a reasonable question about her performance.

    Don't, however, ask if she is satifying, because one would wonder what taste she was satisfying: the suggestion would be that you were asking about her performance in bed.

    I mention this to indicate the difference in the power of the two words.

    If something is satisfying it is satisfying some taste: a satisfying cigar, a satisfying day out on the river, a satisfying meal, a satisfying holiday. The suggestion is that it has met what may well be a physical need in a very positive way.

    Satisfactory, however, is much more luke-warm. If something is satisfactory, it is not good and it's not bad. It's just....satisfactory, OK, nothing special, probably not very good at all. It's a word which is used to describe something which one doesn't want to say was as bad as one thought it. It is damning with faint praise.
     

    chambers

    Senior Member
    français - French
    To expand a little:

    If you were to ask at your daughter's school if your daughter was satisfactory, you would be told she did well in some things and badly in others. It would be a reasonable question about her performance.

    Don't, however, ask if she is satifying, because one would wonder what taste she was satisfying: the suggestion would be that you were asking about her performance in bed.

    I mention this to indicate the difference in the power of the two words.

    If something is satisfying it is satisfying some taste: a satisfying cigar, a satisfying day out on the river, a satisfying meal, a satisfying holiday. The suggestion is that it has met what may well be a physical need in a very positive way.

    Satisfactory, however, is much more luke-warm. If something is satisfactory, it is not good and it's not bad. It's just....satisfactory, OK, nothing special, probably not very good at all. It's a word which is used to describe something which one doesn't want to say was as bad as one thought it. It is damning with faint praise.
    Thomas, I like your explanation, and it can avoid me saying sth improper at school the day I'll have a daughter. Satisfactory is just used when you talk about things, which are "so-so".
     
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