I saw the question about this word, but it is more like an example of how not to use this word. From definitions I found on google, it looks like this word is used to describe someone who is not educated, or rude and unsophisticated.

But this sentence:

They are ignorant, please teach them

seems awkward to me (I never saw this usage, it is just an example). So this word is probably used for someone who is uneducated and rude/unsophisticated. Am I right? Because translator to my language shows synonyms for words like uneducated, but from examples, it looks like it is not synonym with this word.

1 Answer 1


Ignorant literally means not knowing. You can describe yourself as being ignorant of a particular subject or fact, but you have to be careful about calling someone else ignorant. Used on its own, it can have the sense 'uneducated, stupid' or even, as you say, 'behaving in an uncouth manner'.

So, it would be better to say

They know nothing about XX, please teach them about it.

  • If I say I'm ignorant of music theory , does that mean I don't know about music theory , or I don't know about music theory, so don't talk with me about this, because I hate it ? Commented Jan 2, 2023 at 14:08
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    It means you know nothing about it. There is no implication of not wanting to talk about it - you might go on to ask a question about it! Commented Jan 2, 2023 at 14:26
  • @LazarĐorđević: The most likely implication is probably I know nothing about music theory [and I'm not a native Anglophone]. See this usage chart. The difference is because to be ignorant of something is relatively "high register" (formal), so it doesn't pair well with the low register (informal) contraction I'm = I am. Commented Jan 2, 2023 at 14:27

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