Hello, teachers!

I'd like to know the difference in usage between content and contented. Please help me with this.

[1] Can both be used as the attributive?
1. He put on a content/contented look.

[2] Can both be used as the predicative?
2. He is content/contented with his marks at the finals.

[3] In this case, which is correct or natural?
3. He is quite easily content/contented by a small thing.

Thank you very much.
Best Regards.
Original Post
According to OALD, 6th edition,
Content are not used before nouns, ie, it can not be used as attribute.eg.
He seemed more content, less bitter.
He had to be content with third place.

Contented, the past participle of the verb to content as adjective, is usually used before nouns.eg.
There is a contented smile on her face.
He was a contented man.
Thanks, Baozhong Lee, for your posting. Surprisingly, the adjective "content" may in fact be used attributively, i.e. before a noun. It's not as common as "contented," but it is used. Here are some examples from Google:

--I live a rather content life with my wife and our cat, and still find time for social activities and other hobbies that I enjoy.

--It has been a long time since I had this content feeling about AMAZING SPIDER-MAN.

--Noah is so sweet and happy. She isn't always laughing....she is just happy in a content way . As long as her basic needs are met, she doesn't demand attention.

I did not, however, find any occurrences of "put[s] on a content look," as in Sentence 1, although I found some instances of "a content look" without "put on."

There's also more to say about the participial adjective "contented." "Contented" may occur predicatively, i.e. as a subject complement. Thus both "content" and "contented" can be used in Sentence 2:

2. He is content/contented with his marks at the finals.

Here are a few examples of predicative use of "contented" from Google:

--This pool of talent is quite contented to be in India, and bubbles with enthusiasm driven by a sense of continuous challenge.

--As I looked across the crowd, everyone looked contented just watching some good bands and talking to their friends.

--Yet how often do any of us truly feel contented ? In a nation overflowing with material affluence, how rarely do we appreciate what we have?

Sentence 3 has a passive verb, and needs a past participle, not a participial adjective. The only correct form is

3. He is quite easily contented by a small thing

Marilyn Martin

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