1

In this sentence

As she was not good at discerning false modesty from the genuine (one), people would easily take advantage of her credulousness.

In order to sound correct and natural, is one necessary? Or should I just repeat modesty?

Edit: Is it possible to say it in a different order:

As she was not good at discerning genuine modesty from false, people would easily take advantage of her credulousness.

12
  • 7
    Modesty is uncountable, so I would suggest false modesty from genuine. Dec 19, 2020 at 8:58
  • 2
    Omit 'the' and 'one'. Dec 19, 2020 at 9:01
  • 1
    Both comments above are relevant and useful.
    – Anton
    Dec 19, 2020 at 9:41
  • 1
    I wish I could reward them. But I see that it is a common practice to comment rather than to answer. So I will just say thank you.
    – fev
    Dec 19, 2020 at 9:43
  • 2
    @fev - it's still nice to see. Dec 19, 2020 at 11:38

1 Answer 1

2

I see that people have answered in the comments (naughty!). I'll answer the way I was going to anyway.

Answer

She was not good at discerning false modesty from genuine. (genuine is an adjective so does not take an article)

or

She was not good at discerning false modesty from the genuine sort. (sort is a noun and so takes an article)

4
  • Can I reverse false and genuine? (See Edit in my question)
    – fev
    Dec 19, 2020 at 11:53
  • You can say it but I wouldn't personally. It seems preferable to emphasis the sort of modesty you do want before the sort you don't. Dec 19, 2020 at 11:55
  • "She was not good at discerning false from genuine modesty" - would that work?
    – fev
    Dec 19, 2020 at 11:58
  • 1
    @fev It looks like it should, but it doesn’t. I suspect this is because “false modesty” has become something like a compound word, whereas “genuine modesty” is still very much a 2-word phrase. Kind of like distinguishing between ice cream and whipped cream. You could just about get away with “ice cream and whipped”, but not with “ice and whipped cream”.
    – Lawrence
    Dec 19, 2020 at 18:53

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