Could I say 'keeps a low profile'?


If I want to describle someone who doesn’t like to show his/her things,especially for private things. Could I say ‘keeps a low profile’? I made some sentences to make sure if I describle these kinds of sentences correctly.

John keeps a low profile.
John keeps a low key profile.

Also, if I’d like to use it as a adverb. What can I use?

John replied the scandal in a low profile.

Or do you know another term to describle it as a adverb more briefly?

Many thanks for your help in advance.

Maggie :wink:

Maggie, what do you mean by “things”?

John keeps a low profile.
This makes sense.

John keeps a low key profile.
This doesn’t make any sense.

John replied the scandal in a low profile.
This also makes no sense. You could say, “John reacted to the scandal by keeping a low profile.”

Hi, Jamie

Actully, I have no idea how to express my actual meaning in English about ‘keeps a low profile’. In Chinese,‘low profile’,this term is very popular. It can be used in many places. I simply wanted to give you an example to express what I’d like to describle. Probably,if I give you a specific instance,then you can get my idea more.

For instance,some people who are very rich,but other people don’t know this thing because they keep a low profile. I mean if they don’t tell anyone,nobody won’t know definitely. In this situation, we would say they keeps a low profile.

Or some stars who got scandals. After the matters,journalists would interview the stars to ask some related questions. If the star doesn’t say a lot, journalists usually would say ‘John reacted to the scandal by keeping a low profile.’,something like that if I suppose the star’s name is John.

Probably, I shouldn’t had said ‘his/her things’ here. I simply didn’t know how to desrible the situation,so I wrote that sentence that might not make sense.

Meanwhile, I have another question.

John is low-key.

Does it make sense? Here I mean if I want to use the term as a adjective. Or what can I say?

Actually, sometimes Taiwanese people use English-Chinese dictionaries,such as Dr.eye ,which is a English-Chinese dictionary name. ‘low-key’ is shown in that kind of dictionary while many terms of them do not make sense and many of us don’t know as well. I simply want to make sure if I could use this term.

Thanks again.

Hi Maggie,

i don’t know if you can use “low key” to describe a person…at least i don’t use it. However, you can say “the wedding was a low key event”. Low key describes an event that is quiet and without a lot of publicity.

Example, I’m going to plan a low key birthday party

Low profile and low key are 2 separate cliches. you can say something is of high or low profile.

Examples, lets keep our promotions a low profile so no one will get upset

Hi Maggie,

I think ‘low key’ would be to do with actions or behaviour rather than being applied directly to a person. There is another expression that might be useful when applied to people and that is: He keeps himself to himself/She keeps herself to herself. This would apply to a very private person.


Wow!! Finally,according to the answers ,I am sure you guys understand my actual meaning. I am so happy I have explained my questions to let another people who speak another languages to understand. It’s amazing. In fact, I have thought this question for a while. I was thinking how to express to others in English. Thanks a lot.

Maggie ^_*