subdue vs. defeat

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danielxu85

Senior Member
Mandarin Chinese
I know that "subdue" means to crush somebody. I think it has the similar connotation with "defeat". What are the differences between them?
Which phrase would you put in the blank?
When the market prices are low, the American radicals are relatively______.
 
  • Well, these two are not quite the same. "Subdue" means to "subjugate, to make somebody ovey one`s will and have no will of one`s own. "Defeat" means to have a victory over somebody, it does not go into the consequences of it.
    In your example, I would imagine, both are possible depending on what you actually mean. Do you mean that the radicals suffer a defeat in their cause or that they are manageable now and cannot do much about the situation?
     

    . 1

    Banned
    Australian Australia
    The tense is wrong.
    Subdue does not necessarily mean 'to crush somebody', to the contrary 'subdue' can indicate a gentleness in altering a mood. A person may be subdued by stroking their forehead or a simple smile.
    You are supposed to make your suggestions before we give you the answers to your homework.

    .,,
     

    danielxu85

    Senior Member
    Mandarin Chinese
    I would rather choose the word "defeat" and change it into "defeated". I know that I should use the past participle, but I am confused by the choice of words, not the tense. Could you tell me which word should I use in this context? According to my understanding, those radicals are defeated in a certain sense.

    The tense is wrong.
    Subdue does not necessarily mean 'to crush somebody', to the contrary 'subdue' can indicate a gentleness in altering a mood. A person may be subdued by stroking their forehead or a simple smile.
    You are supposed to make your suggestions before we give you the answers to your homework.

    .,,
     

    . 1

    Banned
    Australian Australia
    I would rather choose the word "defeat" and change it into "defeated". I know that I should use the past participle, but I am confused by the choice of words, not the tense. Could you tell me which word should I use in this context? According to my understanding, those radicals are defeated in a certain sense.
    This thread is spinning around slightly.
    What do you mean by 'radicals'?
    You have posted a sentence that seems to be idiomatic.
    What are you trying to say?

    .,,
     

    Brioche

    Senior Member
    Australia English
    I know that "subdue" means to crush somebody. I think it has the similar connotation with "defeat". What are the differences between them?
    Which phrase would you put in the blank?
    When the market prices are low, the American radicals are relatively______.
    Well, in this example it has to be subdued, because relatively defeated does not make sense.
     

    . 1

    Banned
    Australian Australia
    Well, in this example it has to be subdued, because relatively defeated does not make sense.
    This is the point of the test that has been set to Daniel.
    It is possible to be relatively subdued but defeated basically means, as Daniel himself said, crushed.
    I do not think that the sentence makes literal sense. I am awaiting confirmation by Daniel but I think that it is slang.

    .,,
     

    panjandrum

    Lapsed Moderator
    English-Ireland (top end)
    Subdued does not always have to carry any sense of someone doing the subduing. Used as an adjective, as it would be in this example, it simply means quiet, less active, more passive, listless.
     

    danielxu85

    Senior Member
    Mandarin Chinese
    Thanks for you guys' patient explanations.
    To .,,
    By "radicals", I mean those people who are for reforms in the American economic system. When the market price is not high, they have nothing to complain about, so just as panj said, they are quiet. I guess this is the point you want me to explain.
     

    . 1

    Banned
    Australian Australia
    I did not ask the question in any way to confuse the issue.
    The word 'radicals' has many meanings in English and your sentence could so easily have been interpreted as being a social commentary on the ebb and flow of terrorism.

    This problem was compounded by the choice of the words subdue and defeat which also have multiple meanings some of which are militaristic.

    I do not know about any language other than English but I do know that English is highly context based.

    .,,
     

    danielxu85

    Senior Member
    Mandarin Chinese
    .,,, Thanks again for your ongoing inspiring explanations! I will remember next time to provide more contexts in the thread. By the way, you said that "radical" could be interpreted as being a social commentary on the ebb and flow of terrorism. This is something brand new to me. Could you give me some examples to illustrate your point? You also said that "subdue" and "defeat" also have meangings related to militarism. Could you also provide some contexts to spell it out for me?;)
    This problem was compounded by the choice of the words subdue and defeat which also have multiple meanings some of which are militaristic.

    I do not know about any language other than English but I do know that English is highly context based.

    .,,
     
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