What kind of words do you need when you want to tell your friends, family members, or pets that you think they are wonderful in all sorts of ways? At those times, you need positive words. Having a big vocabulary of positive words means that you can tell each of them precisely why you think they are great.
Of course, telling people good things is about more than just the words you use. Try this: Say the following sentence out loud two times. The first time, say it like you are telling the person that they just failed a test. The second time, say it as though you are happy.
"Your drawings are amazing."
Do you hear the difference? Communication is about the words you choose, but it's also about the emotion you have when you are saying it. That emotion comes across in your tone of voice.
This is one reason you sometimes have to be more careful in writing than when you are speaking. Tone and emotion don't always come across, especially in quick messages, so your meaning can be misunderstood. The wrong tone when you are saying something positive can make it sound like you mean the opposite thing.
Having a good vocabulary of positive words is also important because it can help you be more precise with what you want to say.
We'll start with positive adjectives. Adjectives are words that describe a person, place or thing.
An amiable person is someone who is friendly and easy to get along with.
Example: Her amiable friend made our afternoon much more pleasant.
Benevolent means kind or well-meaning.
Example: She gave him a benevolent smile.
A charismatic person can get people to like them easily.
Example: The charismatic student won the school election.
Someone who is diligent is hard-working and careful.
Example: The diligent student finished all of the assignments.
Eloquent means that someone's speech or writing is well done and convincing to people.
Example: She is sure to win the contest with her eloquent essay.
Something that is flawless has no mistakes.
Example: I got an A on my math test because my work was flawless.
A gregarious person is friendly and outgoing.
Example: The gregarious boy made everyone at the party feel welcome.
A humane person or action is one that is kind and thoughtful.
Example: She made the humane decision to find homes for all the puppies.
A person or thing that is indispensable is something or someone that you can't do without.
Example: Her help on the project was indispensable.
A jovial person is cheerful and friendly.
Example: He is such a jovial man, always smiling and saying hello to everyone.
Something that is laudable deserves praise.
Example: Her efforts to explain the math problem to us were laudable.
Someone who is magnanimous is generous, kind and forgiving.
Example: He was magnanimous in his praise of the player who defeated him.
A notable person or thing is one that is worthy of attention.
Example: He became famous after writing a notable history book.
An obliging person is someone who is willing and helpful.
Example: The obliging man gave us directions to our hotel.
Something that is phenomenal is amazing.
Example: Everyone loved the phenomenal movie.
A resilient person or thing does well in difficult situations.
Example: The resilient girl finished the race even though she fell and injured herself at one point.
Stupendous means something is extremely good, awesome, or extraordinary.
Example: The whole audience stood up and applauded after the stupendous show.
A tactful person is able to explain things in a way that considers the other person's feelings.
Example: We asked Ben to tell them they were too loud because we knew he would be tactful about it.
Something that is unparalleled is so wonderful that nothing else can compare with it.
Example: That football team is unparalleled in its victories.
Valiant means to be determined and brave.
Example: She made a valiant effort to climb the mountain even though she was afraid of heights.
Someone or something that is witty is funny and good with words.
Example: He always has something witty to say that breaks the tension.
An accolade is an award for an accomplishment.
Example: The city gave him an accolade after he saved the people from the burning building.
A benefactor is someone who helps another person or others in a significant way, sometimes financially.
Example: We never found out the identity of the benefactor who paid for our new school gym.
To galvanize people is to get them excited and motivated about taking action.
Example: His speech galvanized the town to build a park.
Innovation is an exciting new way of doing things.
Example: The company's latest innovation is a house that cleans itself.
Longevity means something lasts or someone lives for a long time.
Example: She said her longevity was because she took a walk every day.
Having merit means to have value.
Example: There is a lot of merit to his ideas.
A paragon is the best example of a thing, or it refers to excellence.
Example: He was a paragon of a leader.
If you transcend something, you go beyond something or overcome something difficult.
Example: The astronaut transcended all obstacles and landed on Mars.
A virtuoso is someone who is very skilled at something, usually in the area of music.
Example: She is a virtuoso on the guitar.
Zest means energy and excitement.
Example: They took on the difficult task with zest.
Building a large vocabulary is essential for good communication. When you can say that something is not just "good" but that it is witty or flawless, people have a clearer understanding of what you mean. You can keep building your vocabulary by learning the meaning of new words as you encounter them and trying to use them in your speech or writing.