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How can I CHANGE the tone of this SENTENCE? Change the sentence "The SMART STUDENT RECEIVED good GRADES", into a more positive tone and a more negative tone ONLY CHANGING the BOLDED WORDS! Thanks!Positive -...

How can I CHANGE the tone of this SENTENCE?

Change the sentence "The SMART STUDENT RECEIVED good GRADES", into a more positive tone and a more negative tone ONLY CHANGING the BOLDED WORDS! Thanks!

Positive -

Negative -

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mwestwood eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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Clearly, diction, the choice of words, sets the tone of sentences. So, in selecting words to create a more positive tone, the writer must consider both the denotation (literal definition) and the connotation (what meanings are suggested) of words.

With respect to the word smart, for instance, there are differing denotations such as mentally quick, intelligent, clever, shrewd.  Connotations of this word include being capable of turning situations to one's advantage and resourceful and clever more than having high innate mental capabilities. Therefore, in order to give the sentence a more positive tone, perhaps the writer can use what the editor has noted, and write

The shrewd and mentally quick student earned As and Bs.

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Karen P.L. Hardison eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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First, before changing tone, identify clearly what the bold words are saying. The tone here is semi-positive; it's a little more positive than neutral. Clearly what the bold words indicate is that a well respected student scholar received admirable marks on their (non-gender singular "their")assessments of academic achievement.

In order to make a boldly positive tone, the degree of respect and admiration must be increased. Similarly, a negative tone requires a significant reduction of respect and admiration. Start with synonyms.

Smart: some of the many synonyms are acute, astute, egghead, crafty, clever, bright, fresh, shrewd, keen, and ingenious. Some of these that lead to positive tone might be clever and bright. Some that lead to negative tone might be egghead and shrewd.

Grades: some synonyms are level, mark, rung, standard, degree. Choices here are fairly neutral; almost any synonym listed here can be used with either positive or negative tone (see more synonyms at thesaurus.com). A choice for a more positive tone, though, might be mark or level. A choice for a more negative tone might be rung or standard.

Received: this verb means, among other meanings, to have bestowed or conferred. These are synonymous meanings. Other synonymous words or phrases are to be...

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