Help me answer this question taken from an ESL book.


* young children are usually................. towards their teachers.


1-Respectable   2-respectful   3-respected   4-respect


If possible, I want to know the difference between these four choices.


Thanks in advance 

Original Post

Hi, Yama,

Much as we like to be of help by answering questions here, sometimes the best way we can help members is by advising them to use the dictionary. Have you looked these words up? Well, I'll do the work for you now, but please note that if you do it by yourself next time, you will discover how effective it can be.

(4) respect is a noun, and we need an adjective there, because we have the copulative verb be.

It'd be a different story if we had the verb show or have. Students have or show respect for their teachers (or, at least, they should).

(1) respectable is used to refer to someone who deserves respect. If we say that a teacher is respectable, he/she is worthy of respect (students respect or should respect him/her).

(3) respected is a participle and will be used in the passive voice, in sentences like:

- Teachers are usually respected by their students.

The word you want is then (2) respectful, meaning "showing respect."

Thanks for help. I have already read explanations of their meanings. But, I wanted to make sure I understood well. I also want to say that according to what i understand, "respected" doesn't need to be used in the passive form. For example," he is a respected scientist". Please let me know what you think. Thanks again for your much appreciated help.


You are correct in saying that "respected" does not always have to be understood to be in the passive voice.  Neither does "appreciated".  Either one can be used to express the simple past in the active voice.  For example, you can say "I respected that scientist" or "I appreciated Gustavo's help".  However, your examples "he is a respected scientist" and "your much appreciated help" are both distinctively passive.

People respect the scientist.  Active.  He is a respected scientist.  Passive.

Gustavo, I appreciate your help very much.  Active.  I want to speak of Gustavo's much appreciated help.  Passive.

I agree with Gustavo's answer on all counts.  The fact that the word "towards" occurs after the blank can only allow for option (2).  Can you see why?

Also, if I may ask, is this ESL book that you speak of so bleeding useless that it doesn't know to recommend capitalizing the first letter of the first word of a sentence?  That is way serious.  Forget all of your other questions.  Until you know how to capitalize and punctuate, any other advice we might offer you is useless.


your examples "he is a respected scientist" and "your much appreciated help" are both distinctively passive.

Thank you, DocV, for your input here. For Yama to understand why the sentences above are semantically passive, we should perhaps clarify that the sentences above come from:

- He is a scientist who is respected by everyone / He is respected by everyone as a scientist.

- I want to thank you for your help, which is much/highly appreciated by me.

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