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I wish to say something like:

Bright colour has the ability to beautify objects like drawings and flowers.

Does this sound strange? Is there a better expression which conveys the same meaning?

Thanks in advance for your help!

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It's grammatically acceptable, but I don't think I'd use it very often in conversation.

You've asked a tough question: you've asked if it sounds "strange," and if there's a "better" way to say it. There are a lot or reasons a word or phrase might sound strange. Perhaps it sounds old-fashioned, or too formal, or too casual, or too unusual, or maybe it has a double meaning.

Personally, I find the verb beautify a bit stilted for day-to-day conversation. (I also think your nebulous example doesn't help; I have trouble imagining myself using the verb "beautify" with a vague word like "objects." Moreover, "ability to beautify" sounds a bit mechanical.)

That said, an informal term you might use is "pretty up":

Flowers can help pretty up a room.

Another way I might say it is:

X can enhance the beauty of Y.

That sounds more natural to me than:

X has the ability to beautify Y.

Here is a more formal version that could be applicable in some situations:

I really like the way Brenda used antiques to improve the aesthetics in her home.

Incidentally, I found "improve the aesthetics" at several websites:

  • Not only does renovating these buildings improve the aesthetics in the City, but they offer new economic development opportunities.
  • Replacing old, generic registers and grilles is an easy way to improve the aesthetics in a room.
  • Hand painting the surfaces in the kitchen is quite possibly the best and easiest remodeling project you can do to improve the aesthetics in your kitchen.
  • Many of our customers agree that their new windows improve the aesthetics in the room and increase the amount of light that is available.

I found many instances of "help to beautify," too, but I noticed that a lot of them were talking about landscaping and outdoor cleanup:

  • Help to beautify the outside of our shelters with your landscaping and gardening expertise!
  • The landscape garden will not only help to beautify the museum, it will be a teaching resource for visitors.
  • We help to beautify the grounds of the church by maintaining the gardens.

By the way, I'm not saying that beautify can only be used for gardens and landscaping! However, I am pointing out that some words might sound more natural than others depending on what nouns are in the sentence. So, when you say something like:

... has the ability to beautify objects

it is almost impossible to say if that "sounds strange" or could be improved. You'll need to be more specific if you want more accurate advice.

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  • This is an awesome reply! Thanks for the effort. The whole sentence I want to say is 'Bright color has the ability to beautify arts and flowers'. Is it correct to change it into 'Bright color has the ability to improve the aesthetics in arts and flowers'? – Rescy_ Jul 28 '15 at 13:59
  • Art and flowers have inherent beauty and aesthetics, so I wouldn't use aesthetics there. I'd recommend something like: Bright colors can increase the beauty of art and flowers. – J.R. Jul 28 '15 at 17:23
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That's fine. You might say, for example, "Flowers help to beautify a room."

That said, it's probably more common to say "make beautiful". Like, "I want to make my house beautiful."

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