His intelligence is matched only by his kindness.

I don't understand the nuance of this "matched only by." "be matched by" means to be the same right? So I understand "He is matched by his rival" means he and his rival are the same in whatever is the subject of this conversation. But I don't understand the sentence above.

  • Hi kih, please do not ask more than one question in the same question. If you have multiple questions, ask two questions and we'd be happy to answer. I'm editing to remove the second question; you're welcome to ask it again if you like.
    – WendiKidd
    Sep 6, 2013 at 14:20

1 Answer 1


His intelligence is matched only by his kindness.

This is a way of giving praise: His intelligence is so great that nothing matches it—except his kindness, which is just as great.

My sense of ethics struggled against the reality.

Your interpretation is quite good: my ethical sense of what should be done was in conflict with what "reality" demanded should be done.

It was left to them to decide what to do.

To leave [an action] to someone means to refuse or decline to take the action oneself, so the other party must do it.


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