Vocabulary: to copy somebody.

Discussion in 'English Only' started by roniy, Jul 3, 2006.

  1. roniy Senior Member

    Brooklyn NY
    ISRAEL: Fluent Hebrew ( Speak Russian, Learning English)
    I have seen many words to express it.

    to imitate, copy, mimic, emulate

    But which one is widely used ???

    And there are other words to say the same thang ????

    Let's say I want to say this sentence :

    "Why you are trying to copy/imitate/mimc/emulate him ?"

  2. Bil

    Bil Banned

    English USA
    Hi roniy

    Imitate: This is the most widely used term.

    Copy: Aside from duplicating, e.g., in print or production, children for the most part use this term frequently in the same sense that one uses 'imitate.'

    Mimic: Mimicry is for the most part (never say never when we're speaking about English grammar) specific to behavior and is frequently derisive. On the other hand, many organisms in nature will mimic the color, shape, sound, etc., of others for survival reasons. For instance, a nonpoisonous snake can benefit from having coloring similar to that of a lethal species.

    Emulate: We usually emulate, that is to say, try to follow in the footsteps of someone we admire.

    I'm sure that other members will broaden these definitions. Good luck to you.

  3. elroy

    elroy Motley mod

    Chicago, IL
    US English/Palestinian Arabic bilingual
    They are all correct.

    "Copy" is derogatory; "imitate" is usually neutral to positive; "mimic" can be frivolous (repeating the sounds someone makes, for example); "emulate" is usually positive - bearing in mind that "emulate" does not mean "copy/imitate/mimic" but rather "hold in high esteem and try to imitate."

    In your sentence, I would use "copy" because I think the tone you are trying to convey is somewhat resentful. Pay attention, however, to the word order: "Why are you trying to copy him?"

    Here are some examples of the different verbs:

    She almost never thinks for herself and simply copies her older sister.
    Because my father is my role model, I try to imitate his behavior.
    His mimicking me all the time got kind of obnoxious.
    He is a hardworking person you should really try to emulate.
  4. roniy Senior Member

    Brooklyn NY
    ISRAEL: Fluent Hebrew ( Speak Russian, Learning English)
    I understand the difference.
    Thank you for helping me :)

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