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Please imagine an emotional man / woman who's morale is like a child and even sometimes seems to to be a bit sensitive. Which one of the following adjectives can indicate such a message that the man in our question has such nice and delicate spirits:

  • He has a very..........morale.
  • a) gentle

  • b) delicate

  • c) tender

I hope I could make myself understood. However, this is a direct translation from my language to English. If you got my point, and think that there is a better / more common way to convey the same message, then I would appreciate it if you let me know about it.

2 Answers 2

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There are a number of idioms that express this in English,for example:

He is a gentle person.

He is emotional.

He is easily moved.

He is sensitive / He has a sensitive nature.

He cares deeply (about things) / He is a caring person

Morale does not work here, as it means something quite different:

Morale: 1. the mental and emotional condition (as of enthusiasm, confidence, or loyalty) of an individual or group with regard to the function or tasks at hand, 2. the level of individual psychological well-being based on such factors as a sense of purpose and confidence in the future

"Nature" or "spirit" or (in some cases) "demeanor" is a more appropriate word.

"Delicate" is close, but it's normally used to imply the person is either fragile (easily broken) or, depending on context, something of an epicure (has very particular tastes).

Please walk quietly around Fred, his delicate nature makes him jump at loud noises.

Fred has delicate sensibilities, especially with wine. He only likes the best Bordeaux vintages.

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  • Hence, your first offer works the best for me. What do you think of it @Andrew? Do you confirm that the closest and the most neutral choice would be the first offer of yours?
    – A-friend
    Jan 15, 2017 at 5:12
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    @A-friend It depends on what you want to say. A more poetic way to express this is "He is a gentle spirit." Of course if you really want to be poetic you can dive into analogy, imagery, and metaphor.
    – Andrew
    Jan 15, 2017 at 7:39
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I think "delicate" is the best adjective of the three, but I don't like the resulting phrase: delicate morale.

I think self-esteem might work better than morale for the situation you describe. It seems morale would be a better word to describe the overall mood of a group, whereas self-esteem focuses more on an individual's feelings.

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  • How about spirits @J.R.? Doesn't is sound better than "morale" here when I say: "He has very delicate spirits"?
    – A-friend
    Jan 14, 2017 at 14:24

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