She's brave/courageous

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Silver

Senior Member
Chinese,Cantonese,Sichuan dialect
Hi,

I've looked up these two words and found that they are almost synonymous. So I don't know whether they are both natural in my context:

Context:

I was walking by the downtown and saw that there was a little girl (maybe 6-7 years old) was playing Guzheng (a kind of instrument) in front of many people. Since she said something (like an introduction of herself and the piece of music she was going to play), I heard noticeable tremble in her voice, but finally she came to the stage and gave the show. I then said:

She's brave.
She's courageous.

I wonder if they are both natural in my context. Thanks a lot

Thoughts:

I know "brave" means "not afraid of danger", but here, could it be an emotionally dangerous situation? I need your help.

Thanks a lot
 
  • Copyright

    Senior Member
    American English
    In trying to discover why I prefer brave here – beyond the fact that we often speak of boys and girls doing scary things as being brave – I found this under the Random House entry for bravery:

    Syn. brave, courageous, valiant, fearless refer to facing danger or difficulties with moral strength and the willingness to continue or keep on fighting. brave is a general word that suggests daring and a desire to keep going: a brave pioneer. courageous implies a higher or nobler kind of bravery, esp. the bravery that results from an inborn quality of mind or spirit: Courageous leaders choose to do what is right, not what is easiest. valiant implies an inner strength that people can see in one's brave deeds, often in battle: a valiant knight. fearless implies coolness and a willingness not to back down or give up in the face of danger: a fearless firefighter.

    For me, brave is the word. Courageous seems too grand for being in front of an audience, no matter how scary that may be for a child.
     
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