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Someone told me I can't say, someone's words reached someone else nicely.

For example:

"His/your words reached me nicely"

Is that true?

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Seems syntactically correct to me. – mplungjan Sep 18 '13 at 9:15
What were you trying to say? Also, you might want to check out our companion site for English Language Learners. – J.R. Sep 18 '13 at 9:16
Sounds fine to me however I interpreted it as "Somebody said something nice or complimentary and the other person found it pleasant or comforting". Is this what you intended to say? – James Webster Sep 18 '13 at 9:31
If I may suggest that this is an excellent question for our sister site, English Language Learners. May I also suggest that you edit your answer and include more context. Who did you say or write these words to, and what prompted you to express your gratitude. – Mari-Lou A Sep 18 '13 at 9:43
@mplungjan can you reach for something nicely? Can words be even received nicely? I would have said "your words were greatly appreciated" (I heard your words and I acknowledge their importance hence there is no real need to add, they reached me) or "I received your words warmly". – Mari-Lou A Sep 18 '13 at 9:49

You can but it isn't a very common usage. In this context you could replace "nicely" with "just fine" or "effectively":

Your words reached me just fine.

Your words reached me effectively.

The likely reason you were told to avoid that usage is because "nicely" more typically refers to the intent or quality of the words:

Your nice words were appreciated.

Your word choice was nice.

Switching to "nicely" makes the act of speaking nice and it can cause a little bit of confusion if the reader has to wonder if you misspoke. For the sake of clarity I recommend avoiding this usage but I would not call it incorrect.

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Instead of "His/your words reached me nicely," I suggest you recast the sentence to say

"His/your words touched me deeply."


"For me, your words hit home."


"Your words resonated nicely/favorably/deeply/poignantly within me."

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You can't really say it because it's meaningless, or at least, its meaning is unclear. 'Nice' once was defined only as 'precise', but modern interpretation of the word includes meanings such as good, fine, pleasant, etc. In other words, your sentence might be saying reached someone else precisely, possibly meaning they were clearly heard, or that the words were interpreted as being pleasant. Either way, it's not something you'd ever hear a native English speaker say, nor see written.

Edit: see Andrew's Comment example of a similar, but contextually correct, use of this word. It's all about the context.

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See my earlier comment – Andrew Leach Sep 18 '13 at 11:34
Yep, seen it, good point, and correctly used. Context is all. – bamboo Sep 18 '13 at 11:36

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