BEAUTIFUL и HANDSOME: особенности употребления

beautiful handsome


Здравствуйте, друзья. Мне попалась интересная заметка от британца об особенностях употребления слов beautiful и handsome в описании внешности. Многие уверены, что при описании внешности человека слово “beautiful” применимо только к женщинам, а слово “handsome” – только к мужчинам. Давайте разбираться в нюансах. Статья на английском языке.

When describing physical appearance, it is normal to describe a girl as beautiful and a man as handsome.
Is it correct to call a man beautiful, and if so, when?
Is it possible to call a woman handsome?

It is acceptable with a woman, especially an older woman, to refer to her as a handsome woman, but you would never approach any woman and say directly to her, “You are handsome!”. This is used only when talking to a third person or when describing a woman in a novel.
Younger women may be offended if you say they are handsome, so, if you wish to pay a compliment to a woman but you don’t want to suggest deeper feelings, say that she is attractive!

It is perfectly normal for a girl, in a tender moment for example, to tell her guy he is beautiful. It is also perfectly correct to use the word beautiful of a man when describing his personal attributes: he has beautiful eyes, beautiful muscles, a beautiful personality.
Two girls may look at their pop idol and agree that he is beautiful. That is fine, and it is perfectly normal!

If a heterosexual man looks at another man and says in all sincerity, “You are beautiful!”, that is the moment the universe will implode!


1. “Handsome” can be attributed not only to a male, but also to a female. It is used in the case of an elegant older woman. You can describe an older woman as “handsome”, when talking to someone else.

2. If you say to a woman that she is “handsome”, she will be offended!

3. If you love a girl, tell her she is beautiful. If you wish to pay a compliment but you don’t love her, tell her she is attractive!

4. If you are a man, and you say to another man that he is beautiful, he will be offended.

Елена Вогнистая

Меня зовут Елена Викторовна Вогнистая, и я преподаю английский более 10 лет. Я работала с учениками разных возрастов, индивидуально и в группе. Я рада поделиться знаниями и опытом с вами. Смотрите сотни бесплатных уроков на моем видео канале

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