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Can a person be both humble and modest? In Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets Dobby said: “Harry Potter is humble and modest". As I know, a modest person rate himself as it really is, but a humble person rate his abilities lower that they are. So, can a person be both humble and modest or Dobby used this words because he doesn't know English well?
Aug 25, 2018 12:44 PM
Answers · 5
I don't think the meanings are that precise. I think the words are roughly synonyms. I don't think the definitions you are using are quite accurate. I don't think the words mean "how accurately we judge our own abilities." To me, "modest" is the opposite of "proud." Proud refer to "showing off." They have echoes of an older, literal meaning of "swollen" or "puffed up," like a rooster's comb or a peacock's feathers. There is even an expression, "as proud as a peacock." "Modest" doesn't mean that someone underestimates their own abilities, achievements, or wealth. It means that they _hide_ them. For example, a proud person might wear a class ring to show the world that he graduated from a famous university. A modest person might not. To me, "humble" is the opposite of "arrogant." "Humble" means meek, submissive, acting as an inferior, obeying orders from others. "Arrogant" means bossy, overbearing, acting as a superior, giving orders to others. "Modest" and "proud" emphasize appearance: what is shown. "Humble" and "arrogant" emphasize behavior toward others.
August 25, 2018
Those words are completely compatible, and your definitions about those words are wrong; they are dangerously wrong. A humble person is a person who rates himself as he really is. A modest person is a person who does not show off to others what he has got best. These are the original meanings, the other derivated meanings are circumstatial. If you rate your abilities lower than they are, you will normally be being proud, as you want to look humble which you may not be.
August 25, 2018
O wow, a humble person, a person with humility, is nothing but a powerful person. I see that you are from Russia. Don't you have any culture and concept of humility in Russia? To be humble in difficult situations is a very tough thing to do. If someone criticizes you for no reason, and if you still can stay humble and maintain equanimity, do not loose your temper, even if you know very well that the other is wrong, you can do this only if you have mental strength. For a truly humble person, perhaps even such sense of forbearance might not be felt because it is his very nature to be a zero and thus a hero. On the other hand, modesty does not need so much inner power. You can be modest about your self if someone praises you and say, 'well, thank you' without further boasting about your talents, possessions, etc. *Dobby used THESE words*
August 26, 2018
Language Skills
Dutch, English, Russian, Ukrainian
Learning Language
Dutch, English