adjective: gorgeous

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Today,  I have a word that is commonly misunderstood in Japan: “gorgeous”. Many people, in Japan at least, think it contains the meaning of being expensive, but this is not true. In English, it means that someone or something is extremely beautiful, and that’s all. For example:

My friend’s girlfriend is gorgeous. I wish I could find a woman as beautiful as she is.

The view from the top of Mount Fuji was absolutely gorgeous. I’ve never seen anything more beautiful in my life.

A: The hotel we stayed at in Rome was just gorgeous.

B: Oh really? Was it expensive?

A: Not too much. We were really lucky.

If we want to use a word that contains the meaning of being expensive, we can use the adjective “luxurious”. So if we say a place is luxurious, then it’s almost always going to be expensive and beautiful.

In the first example, a woman is being described as “gorgeous”, but we can also describe a man as “gorgeous”. For example:

Look at that guy over there! Isn’t he gorgeous!?

In these cases, the speaker will almost always be a young female such as a teenage girl or a woman in her 20s. Older women don’t usually describe a man as “gorgeous”. Instead, they will say he is “handsome”, “good-looking” or “attractive”.

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