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Question for english speaker I have a friend who is always very calm and not to talk much. Do you have any word to describe a person who doesn't talk much? Thanks!
Mar 29, 2018 7:37 AM
Comments · 13

I would think much depends on their reason as to why they choose to not talk much.

Reserved - because they are unsure how their comments may be taken, or are self conscious.

Shy - because they are uncomfortable.

Introverted - because they don't like being noticed.

Bored - because they don't like the conversation subject.

A second language - because the conversation is unnatural and are not confident of their speaking or listening ability. (I apologize if this is incorrect or offensive.)

Sometimes people like to listen and are observers.

These are my thoughts and perhaps the definitions may be interpreted a different way.

March 29, 2018

I agree with "reserved", "shy", or "introverted". You could even say "She is a bit of an introvert!" and people would know exactly what you mean. I even think that saying "tight-lipped" would be a bit odd. To me, that kind of sounds like your friend is hiding a secret or holding back from saying something that is on her mind :) But, in essence, that would mean that a person is quiet.

"Reticent", "laconic" and "taciturn" all sound like you are reading out of a piece of 18th- or 19th century literature. Surely you could use these in an academic or literary paper, but saying this in casual conversation would seem a bit out of place. I think the last time that I actually remember having to keep "laconic" and "taciturn" in the forefront of my lexicon was when I was studying for the SAT and LSAT ;)

March 29, 2018

I can offer you a beautiful phrase that the English use about quiet people:

"still waters run deep" 

It is a compliment that means people who are calm and quiet are usually very intelligent and deep in their way of thinking.

March 29, 2018
You could try “laconic” or “taciturn” — both rather latinate, fancy words. A colloquial alternative might be “tight-lipped.” Most of the time, we’d probably use a phrase explaining exactly what we mean. You’ll want to consult a dictionary to get the full definitions for the words provided. Note that “taciturn” tends to have negative connotations in American English / culture.

March 29, 2018
There are many words in the English language but finding the right word for your friend is not productive, a label. Your friend for whatever reason known to her or him chooses to be quiet and that is not a bad thing. I am opinionated and sometimes speak my mind when I choose but I enjoy being inside my head as well. I tend to be more annoyed by people who love the sound of your own voice, speaking endlessly. To me what matters is not how many words are said, but how appropriate they are, quality is better than quantity.
March 30, 2018
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Language Skills
Chinese (Mandarin), English, French, German
Learning Language
English, French