telling versus sincere

pickup

Senior Member
" España, español"
Hi

If I say,

Her response to the question was very telling.

Could I use sincere instead as a synonym of telling in the sentence above?

I picked sincere because when studying the definition of telling in a dictionary it says,

showing the truth about a situation or showing what someone really thinks

Thank you so much for your answers

pick up
 
Last edited:
  • pickup

    Senior Member
    " España, español"
    Could anyone provide me with accurate synonyms of telling in the sentence above?

    Thank you so much for your great answers

    pick up
     

    entangledbank

    Senior Member
    English - South-East England
    'Telling' means it gives (tells) you significant information - in some or another sense.

    If she was sincere, her response tells you about her feelings or thoughts, perhaps, or something about the situation (a politician's response might be sincere, might not mention tax increases or job losses, but you can tell from it that they will happen).

    If she was lying, her response tells you something about what she's thinking, or what she wants you to think, or what has really happened, or . . .

    And if someone says almost nothing, tries not to give any information, that could be telling: you deduce they have something to hide, or they weren't informed, or . . . We would even say her silence was telling.
     

    lingobingo

    Senior Member
    English - England
    Sincere is about the sincerity (honesty and integrity) of the person being referred to.
    Telling is about how revealing what someone does or says is – how much it tells you about them and/or the relevant situation.
     

    pickup

    Senior Member
    " España, español"
    Why do you need a synonym?
    If the synonym is very accurate it can tell you the exact meaning of the word I think. It can also help me find
    the most suitable translation of the word into Spanish which is the case. So please would it be possible to give
    me a synonym of the word telling?

    So you can be lying and still be very telling in your response.

    Thank you for your great answers

    pickup
     

    lingobingo

    Senior Member
    English - England
    I think the words with the closest meaning to telling are revealing and informative. But it really embodies both of those ideas, so don’t assume that they’re direct synonyms that automatically work in place of telling.
     

    elroy

    Moderator: EHL, Arabic, Hebrew, German(-Spanish)
    US English, Palestinian Arabic bilingual
    I thought of "revelatory" and "indicative," but again, these wouldn't necessarily be able to substitute for "telling." But they may help you understand the meaning.
     

    elroy

    Moderator: EHL, Arabic, Hebrew, German(-Spanish)
    US English, Palestinian Arabic bilingual
    We don't use "betraying" as an adjective, but that meaning of the verb "betray" is indeed fitting!

    His response to the question was very telling. =
    His response to the question betrayed XYZ.
     
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