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How do "simply" and "simple" differ in meaning?
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“Simply” is an adverb; it modifies verbs, adjectives, etc. “Simple” is an adjective; it modifies nouns. In normal speech, the signifier “simply” is used to mean “without excess” or “without complication” and is a way for the speaker to indicate that the speech or act referred to is without guile, without any complicated subtext: “This dessert is simply delicious” would mean that the speaker is giving the dessert his/her unqualified approval, without any other descriptors (sweet, tart, crispy, etc.). “Simple” as an adjective refers to the state or condition of an object or act: “It comes with simple directions.” The word “simple” also is sometimes used to refer to a person’s mental capacity, as a criticism: “Don’t take him seriously; he is simple.” In Shakespeare’s Sonnet 138, the line, “Simply I credit her false speaking tongue:” means that the speaker is taking her utterance at face value, naively (some “translations use ‘foolishly’), without assigning any duplicitous motives to his love.
Posted by wordprof on August 19, 2013 at 4:29 PM (Answer #1)
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