I am in the U.S., writing an anonymous review for my professor. In the middle of some other praises of her, I am thinking to write the following:

She was always very nice and open to questions.

By "nice", I want to say that she was always very polite and made an effort to seem interested.

Can "nice" be misunderstood here? Is there a better word to use?

I do not want to actually use the words "she was very polite and made an effort to seem interested", as they are too specific; my impression of her is just overall that she was very "nice".

  • Nice is OK, but it is widely despised for being too general and unspecific. You seem to contradict yourself, when you first say that she was always very polite and made an effort to seem interested, then discard it as not being exactly what you want to say. Dec 2, 2018 at 11:42
  • Any word in English can mean the opposite if you say in a sarcastic way, for example, "Oh, yeah, that's a really helpful comment you made there, Andrew" It all depends on context and intonation.
    – Andrew
    Dec 2, 2018 at 17:08

1 Answer 1


About the word Samaritan, Macmillan says:

Samaritan - Someone who is kind, generous or helpful.

Listed synonyms include:

  • saint
  • gem
  • angel

So you could write:

She was an angel – always very nice and open to questions.

  • 3
    The question was about an adjective, "nice", and you have given a link to a list of nouns. In any case, "Samaritan" has a very specific and narrow meaning, not applicable to the situation described. A Samaritan, or "good Samaritan" is someone who e.g. helps you when you are lying injured at the side of the road, especially after many other people have passed by without helping. Dec 2, 2018 at 11:39
  • 1
    While this link may answer the question, it is better to include the essential parts of the answer here and provide the link for reference. Link-only answers can become invalid if the linked page changes. - From Review Dec 2, 2018 at 13:41
  • I’ve piggy-backed on the comment by @NathanT and edited your question to give you a better idea of how to leave an answer like this. Supporting links are good, but don’t just send people on a wild goose chase to other websites.
    – J.R.
    Dec 3, 2018 at 9:48

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