sobota, 28 maja 2011

Vocabulary: Opinion vs Reputation

In this blog, we'll look at several different kinds of common errors and problems.  Today, we'll start with a vocabulary problem--a problem understanding how to use certain words.  Today's words are opinion and reputation, which are often confused by Polish people using English.

INCORRECT:

The hospital has a very good opinion in this region.

John has a good opinion.  Everybody respects him.


CORRECT:

The hospital has a very good reputation in this region.

John has a good reputation.  Everybody respects him.

OR

Everybody respects John’s opinion about politics.  He is very smart.

In English, the word opinion means what we think about something or somebody else.  We use the word reputation for what other people think about us.  Businesses, people, institutions, restaurants … all can have reputations, good or bad.  A reputation usually depends on people’s experience with this person or thing.  For example, if I go to a restaurant and get a terrible meal, with terrible service, I’ll tell all my friends that I have a terrible opinion of this place.  If other people do the same thing, soon the restaurant will have a bad reputation.

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