Recently I talked to a man on telephone and his voice was like a villager. When my family members asked me who was on the phone, I told them that there was a man who "sounded like a villager". My question is that is this expression correct?

Should I say he "sounds like a villager "or "he sounded villager"? Which one would be more appropriate and would sound more native?

And if there is any other way to say the same thing please let me know


Like a villager is the correct phrasing for your simile.

Whether to use sounded or sounds would depend on if you were in the process of talking to the "villager" or had already finished, just use the appropriate tense.

  • So if I am in conversation I should say "he sounds like a villager "and if I am not in conversation I should say " he sounded like a villager " right? Mar 28 '16 at 16:05
  • Correct, it's just the appropriate tense of sound when the sentence stands alone in context which is the easiest way to remember it. You could also say "I spoke to him yesterday and he sounds like a villager" which would also be correct and understandable since "spoke to him yesterday" anchors the time.
    – Peter
    Mar 28 '16 at 16:10

"sounds/sounded like a villager" is correct, but sounds like a translation from another language. "sounds like a peasant" is more idiomatic, both in AmE and BrE (see NGram, but it could be regarded as offensive. "sounds like a bumpkin" is less offensive, but less widely used. "yokel" would be good in the UK, but I don't know whether Americans would get that.

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