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Amiable and amicable



 
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ESL Forums | English Vocabulary, Grammar and Idioms
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Amiable and amicable #1 (permalink) Tue Aug 29, 2006 11:10 am   Amiable and amicable
 

Hi

Sometimes I mix up the words amiable and amicable.

Could you say something about them to make me a bit more comprehensive :) ?
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Aimiable #2 (permalink) Tue Aug 29, 2006 11:31 am   Aimiable
 

Hi Tamara,

Amiable refers for example to someone's personality and suggests a friendly and pleasant manner - in a sense likeable. Amicable refers to things like arrangements and agreements that are favourable to both sides in the agreement or arrangement. You can come to an amicable agreement with someone where you and the other person both benefit without anything actually being written down. It's a sort of favourable deal

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Amicable, but not amiable :) #3 (permalink) Tue Aug 29, 2006 14:08 pm   Amicable, but not amiable :)
 

Hi Alan

Thank you for the explanation. The general difference is now more clear.

My difficulty mainly appear in those cases when amicable is applied to people.

Exactly in the meaning:
amicable - Characterized by or exhibiting friendliness or goodwill; friendly. (c)

- when they are (almost) synonyms (with amiable).

But I will stick to ‘exhibiting’ and to the attitude that amiable is a general characteristic of personality, whereas amicable (perhaps) could be just a description of some current :) particular features demonstrated (amicable manners, etc)

If it’s OK – many thanks.
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Amicable #4 (permalink) Tue Aug 29, 2006 14:58 pm   Amicable
 

Hi Tamara,

I wouldn't really use amicable to describe a person. It would have to refer to things like attitude, arrangement, behaviour, approach but not with direct reference to the person.

Alan
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