adjective: controversial

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Today’s adjective is one which you’ve probably heard a lot if you watch the news in English: “controversial”. It is used when we want to talk about a public debate about something or someone in which the two sides have very different opinions. For example:

Bill Parker’s new book about religion is very controversial. Many people love it, but religious groups are extremely upset about some of his statements in the book.

The government’s decision to stop all immigration has been very controversial. Many people have protested the decision.

The Cove is a very controversial movie in Japan. Some people want to have it shown in Japanese movie theaters while others are very much against that.

When we use this word to describe things like books and movies, the difference of opinion has to be very emotional and strong. If  people simply disagree about a movie’s or book’s quality, we don’t say it’s controversial in those cases.

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