She is a very attentive international student who despite her limited passive vocabulary follows each and every remark of her teacher.

In the above sentence it may look like teacher's remarks are some kind of commands or orders being given to the student, which she obediently fulfills. However, what I am trying to say is that she is simply paying attention to every word of her teacher. The problem is in the dubious meaning of the word "follows". Which word should I substitute for it in order to convey the intended meaning?

(I don't want to use "pays attention" because the word "attentive" is already used in the sentence)

  • [correction: In the sentence above]. I'd say: is able to follow, otherwise there is no contrast with limited passive vocabulary.
    – Lambie
    Apr 6, 2021 at 13:25
  • @Lambie - I see. Thank you!
    – brilliant
    Apr 6, 2021 at 15:02
  • 1
    No worries my refulgent friend. :)
    – Lambie
    Apr 6, 2021 at 15:03

2 Answers 2


I know this is a re-write and not a direct answer to your question but how about

She is a very assiduous international student who despite her limited passive vocabulary attends closely to each and every remark of her teacher.

I have avoided the repetition by replacing the attentive with assiduous.

  • And you have answered my question!
    – brilliant
    Apr 6, 2021 at 14:08

The American Heritage Dictionary defines follow thus:

To be attentive to; pay close heed to

too sleepy to follow the sermon

As you can see, the above definition of the word fits in the description you've provided quite nicely.

  • Well, "follow the sermon" would not give you a second thought because the sermon is not a person. However, "She followed every remark of the pastor who read the sermon" may.
    – brilliant
    Apr 6, 2021 at 9:58
  • I don't quite follow your point, @brilliant.
    – user126190
    Apr 6, 2021 at 10:23
  • I mean a sermon is not a person. It can't give you a command or an order to follow. Therefore, if someone says "she followed the sermon closely" the only way to understand that phrase is that she was paying her full attention to the sermon. However, if it's a person (pastor, teacher, officer, parent, etc.), than such phrase like "she followed her mother's remarks closely" may be taken in the sense that she was acting upon every order that was coming from her mom.
    – brilliant
    Apr 6, 2021 at 14:06

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