Do we suppress a smile or repress a smile?

Problem 1 (Do they sound OK to speak like they are?)
a. If someone tells you about something that is quite but not really that surprising. Can I reply that person in this way:'Oh, really? I’m a bit flabbergasted.
b. Why do you heave sigh in so beastly way?
c. We use the answer that we obtained in part (i) to proceed with the calculation in part (ii).

Problem 2:
Do we suppress a smile or repress a smile?

1a. OK. “flabbergasted” is quite strong in its sense of surprise/amazement, and “a bit flabbergasted” is still reasonably strong.

1b. Very odd.

1c. OK.

  1. I would only ever say “suppress”, but this graph is quite interesting: ngrams.googlelabs.com/graph?cont … moothing=3

(Edited) Thanks for the comments Dozy, but do you have any suggestion in mind to improve this odd question or we don’t usually say in such way?
Thanks for sharing the link about ‘supress a smile’ versus ‘repress a smile’. And I would also pick ‘suppress a smile’ instead of ‘repress a smile’ as it sounds more natural.

You could say “Why do you sigh in such a beastly way?”, but “beastly” and “sigh” sound a bit odd together to me. “sighing” is usually a relatively gentle thing, while “beastly” describes an unpleasant/nasty activity.

Ooh! I like ngrams, dozy! A new discovery for me. Thank you!

(Please notice that it would be ‘heave a sigh’, Isabelle, if you use that phrase.)

Dozy, you’re so right about the meaning of ‘beastly’ but it is also an adverb that describe ‘to an extreme degree; very’, isn’t it?

The situation that I wanted to relate to is that ‘the person I’m talking with looked both extremely tired and sad, he then heaved a weary sigh.’
Now, do you think it is inappropriate to ask “Why do you sigh in such a beastly way?”?

I’m so sorry to keep bothering you about this again and again.

Thanks, Mister Micawber, it should always be ‘heave a sigh’.

I suggest:

Why do you sigh so heavily?
– This is a much more usual collocation.

Do you mean as in expressions like “it’s beastly hot, isn’t it?” This is an uncommon use of “beastly” which to me sounds a bit like something out of an old-fashioned children’s book. It doesn’t fit with sighing, and in any case it won’t work grammatically in your sentence “… beastly way”, where “beastly” is an adjective not an adverb.

“beastly” is quite the wrong word. You can say “Why do you sigh in such a weary way”, but this is not very conversational. It sounds more like artificial conversation from a novel. “Why such a weary sigh?” seems more like something I might actually say … possibly…!

[Edited] … or just “Why the weary sigh?”

OK, got it. Thanks Mister Micawber.

I hope I didn’t ruffle your feather one bit by asking too much of a question over a seemingly old-fashioned word such as this one because upsetting you is the last thing I would ever want to do. Having said that, your suggestions are awesome.

Of course not Isabelle, asking questions is what the forum is for. Ask away!

I’m so glad to hear that, Dozy. And that’s heartening. BTW, I’m guessing Dozy is your surname? It’s not really a question though, just asking out of curiosity and do you mind if I ask you a question: Are you a teacher in this site?

No, “Dozy” is just a made-up name. No one would have that as a surname. It means “sleepy” or “drowsy”, or is applied to someone who is not mentally very alert or who doesn’t properly pay attention. It’s just a kind of joke. No, I am not officially a teacher, I am merely a native English speaker with some interest in the language and the correct use thereof.

Aha, you was probably wrong in this: “Dozy” is just a made-up name. No one would have that as a surname. Try this link:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dozy
Then my next guess would be you must be a female teacher with patience being one of your most obvious virtue. Hehe.

(Edited): Then my next guess would be you must be a female mentor with patience being one of your most obvious virtue. Hehe.

I should have said “nobody of English-speaking ancestry would have that as a surname”. Probably.

Actually I’m male. I thought I there was a field somewhere on the site registration form where we had to indicate sex, but I can’t find it displayed anywhere, so I guess I’m mistaken…

Then I wanted to say thank you Sir for all the time and efforts that you have shown to us in helping us improve our English! And my thanks are also extended to Beesnees, Mister Micawber, Alan, Tort, etc.
I’m being a bit sentimental, I know and acknowledging at the same time that I always be the one with emotion that are often overflowing. Hehehe.

Teacher by profession or not, after only a few of Dozy’s answers I noticed a huge knowledge and capacity that is behind those answers.
Dozy almost always tries to give us as full as possible explanation. I appreciate it.
Never got mad neither at me nor the other learners. That’s nice. I mean relaxing.
Brilliant work on this site.

Thank Dozy or what is behind the nick!

The weather is ghastly. Would it have worked as compared with “The weather is so beastly hot, isn’t?” I mean for daily conversation use. Though ghastly may not necessarily mean hot, but to me, if the weather seems unpleasant, that simply means hot. I hope that I’m not jumping out of the frying pan into the fire as I presumed “ghastly” is not like “beastly” that needed to be used sparingly.

PS: I assume I need to write this particular post here since this is a question that touched about the use of ‘beastly’ versus ‘ghastly’.

“ghastly” is fine to use in everyday conversation. Of course, like any word, you don’t want to overuse. “The weather is ghastly” is fine, but much more likely to be used for bad wet/windy/cold/snowy weather than hot weather.

(PS, were you formely Isabelle?)

Point taken. Thanks, Dozy.

Yes, Isbell, formerly Isabelle will do the “talking” here from now on. :slight_smile: