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"Televisioncrews stood too far from the President to register the words heuttered during his visit in the former Nazi concentration camp. Itwas evident, however, that Barack Obama was indeed moved and subduedby what he had seen and what Eli Wiesel, ex-prisoner of Bunchenwald,writer and Nobel Prize winner, had told him."

This is a sentence I created. Is this a proper use of the word subdued ? A friend of mine, a non-native speaker of English, argues that it doesn't fit at all and I should use 'overwhlemed' instead because subdued sounds odd and unnatural. He's spent some time in the US so I always value his comments concerning English. This time, however, I feel differently. My Cambridge Advanced learners Dictionary 3rd Edition gives the following definition of the word:

" subdued /səbdjud/ /-dud/ adjective MOOD
3. If a person is subdued, they are not as happy as usual or they are quieter than usual

I think that the deffinition given in my dictionary proves the way I used the word in the sentence given above, correct. I fail to see how it could be unnatural. Could any of the native speaker evaluate the sentence for me? Cheers!
  • sdgraham

    Senior Member
    USA English
    Interesting question and probably arguable either way, as I think about it, especially since one might look at it as an adjective, or a non-parallel usage of the passive.

    I would not use it, however, more because of the redundancy than definition.

    You have a number of other problems with your sentence, however, but they are unrelated to your question.


    Senior Member
    UK English
    I see no objection to the use of subdued in your sentence. Overwhelmed is a much stronger word.

    We normally say "a visit to a place". You have also run some words together, but that should be clear to you (e.g. heuttered).
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