The accusation left him quite silent/mute/ speechless with rage.

Kirimaru

Senior Member
Vietnamese
Hi,


The accusation left him quite silent/mute/ speechless with rage.


I think "speechless" is correct in this case, and I would like to know whether it really sounds right to your ears or not.

Many thanks
 
Last edited:
  • jokaec

    Senior Member
    Chinese - Hong Kong
    When facing the criticism of the public caused by their failed marriage, he chose to be "mute" or "silent" because he didn't want to hurt her.

    Are they both correct and the same? If so, which is better in this situation? Thank you.
     

    LVRBC

    Senior Member
    English-US, standard and medical
    There are several definitions of mute in the dictionary, and the physical inability to speak is only one of them. You can in fact choose to be mute in a situation in which you do not wish to speak.
     

    jokaec

    Senior Member
    Chinese - Hong Kong
    There are several definitions of mute in the dictionary, and the physical inability to speak is only one of them. You can in fact choose to be mute in a situation in which you do not wish to speak.
    Thank you both.
    In this case, if both "mute" and "silent" work. I guess "silent" is better in this situation. Am I right?
     

    Retired-teacher

    Senior Member
    British English
    "Silent" is much more common and the one I would use in that situation. The word "mute" is rarely used in ordinary conversation other than when referring to someone who cannot speak for a medical reason, and probably not even then. We would say that (s)he can't speak or is unable to speak.
     

    DonnyB

    Sixties Mod
    English UK Southern Standard English
    I would actually say "keep quiet". :)

    Otherwise I agree with R-T (post #9): "mute" is not commonly used in ordinary everyday English. I come across it mainly in the context of "muting" the sound on a TV or loudspeaker.
     

    LVRBC

    Senior Member
    English-US, standard and medical
    Going back to the original post, speechless, silent, or mute with rage are all acceptable. Any one of these might be used by an English-speaking person, in the US anyway. The word "quite" is not needed.
     

    jokaec

    Senior Member
    Chinese - Hong Kong
    Going back to the original post, speechless, silent, or mute with rage are all acceptable. Any one of these might be used by an English-speaking person, in the US anyway. The word "quite" is not needed.
    :thumbsup:
     

    Packard

    Senior Member
    USA, English
    For me "silent" suggests a voluntary action. "Speechless" suggests that something is in control of the lack of speech.

    I hear "mute" used as "he was mute on the subject of ...". Again this is voluntary as opposed to "speechless".
     
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