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Example:

He is very fine to work with.

From the Cambridge dictionary I get two (relevant) meanings:

  1. SATISFACTORY (adjective)
  2. EXCELLENT (adjective)

To me these two meanings seem very different. While satisfactory sounds somewhat negative in this context (i.e. working with someone), excellent sounds very positive.

Q: do the meanings depend on the context around the sentence? For example, if the text around this sentence is very positive, then the meaning probably is toward 'excellent'?

  • 2
    All meanings depend on context. Absent that, the adverb very changes the meaning of fine and militates against an interpretation of "satisfactory." – Robusto Jan 11 at 16:17
  • Fine can also mean detail oriented. I can see very fine being used to describe somebody who is precise in some conversational contexts. – Jason Bassford Jan 11 at 19:02
  • I would never say anything like this in American English. I would always say something like, " I like working with him" or "He is easy to work with". I would never use fine in a context like this. It sounds very strange to me. – Karlomanio Jan 11 at 19:10

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