Lindsay McMahon
"The English Adventurer"

Would you say you are a generous person?

Some people are more generous than others of course, and it’s an interesting thing to think about and even talk about.

We can be generous with our time, money, possessions, or this can just be the type of person that you may be.

It can be a very good thing to be generous, and it can be an interesting thing to talk about too.

Today we are looking at people who are generous, what this means, and how you can talk about this concept and trait in conversation.

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The Idea Of Being Generous

Being generous or kind is something that you may talk about often in conversation.

This is a very positive trait, and therefore you want to know how to talk about this when a person or situation warrants it.

Today we are going to talk about a few expressions and words with generosity and kindness, and you will find these to add a positive spin to your conversations.

  • The shirt off one’s back: This can describe how someone acts in terms of being generous, or you can use it to tell someone you will be generous to them. This is not about formal donations or anything like that, and we can talk about that another time. This is more about people being generous through their personalities. It doesn’t mean that somebody would actually take the shirt off their back for you, but rather that they are so generous that they would do anything for you. A couple of examples include the following–“John is a great guy. He’s give you the shirt off his back.” You could also use something like “You know I’d give you the shirt off my back, but it’s important you learn to do it on your own.”
  • I’d do anything for you: This is saying that someone would do anything for another person. They are so generous or kind that they would do anything to make somebody happy. They are just that type of person, and therefore they are kind almost beyond measure. You could say something like “Remember- I’d do anything for you. Call me if you need me.”
  • Giving: This is just used to describe a generous person. They are very giving of their time, of gifts, or it’s just how they are built or made up. This often summarizes the type of person that you are dealing with and helps you to see that they are very kind and giving of themselves. You might say something like “He has a really giving nature. That’s why people like him so much. He’s very nice.” You could also say something like “For such a giving person, he never seems to have time for us anymore.”

Do you know somebody who is generous or giving?

Is it about giving your time, money, gifts, or just who you are as a person that makes you generous?

What makes somebody so generous that you know?

This is an interesting concept to think about and if you know somebody that is generous, you know what a gift that can be in your life.

Can You Be Too Generous?

This might not sound like something that is possible, but there is such a thing as too generous.

There is the idea that somebody may do too much or go above and beyond what they need to do.

This is on the opposite end of the spectrum where people may try too hard or may just be far too generous.

This can tend to be a negative, but it may come up in conversation more than you think.

There is an idiom that you may use to describe it when people are too generous, and so you want to know what this is and how to use it in conversation.

  • Generous to a fault: If you break this down then saying “to a fault” means so much that it’s bad. We can do a follow up on this and how it is used in other contexts, but let’s start with this phrase and usage. Here this means that this is someone who is overly generous and it sometimes backfires on them. They may seem as if they try too hard or that they just give way too much. You may say something like “She is generous to a fault, which means she never pays attention to her own well being.”

Do you think that people can be too generous?

Is it possible that somebody can give too much?

We did an episode on this that can be a great point of reference, and you’ll want to check it out.

Is It Bad To Be Selfish? Plus 2 Self-Centered English Vocabulary Words

It’s all about learning how to talk about these things, such as generosity, from both extremes.

Though it may seem as if being too generous can’t possibly be a thing, the truth is that you may find that it can make people feel a bit uncomfortable if you are too generous.

Roleplay To Help

In this roleplay, Lindsay and Michelle are sisters talking about their family.

Michelle: “So are you gonna ask Uncle Bill to take you to the airport?”

Lindsay: “You think he’d do it?”

Michelle: “For sure. You know he’d give you the shirt off his back if you needed it.”

Lindsay: “That’s true. Ok, I’ll ask. He’s so giving, I’m sure he’d help me out.”

Michelle: “Just make sure you really tell him it’s ok if he can’t . Sometimes he’s generous to a fault, so I feel like he’d cancel an important meeting or something, so just be clear about that.

Lindsay: “You’re right. He’d do anything for us, I know that.”


We gave you ways to describe generous personalities, and this is such a great part of conversation.

Can you be too generous?

Have you ever dealt with somebody who is above and beyond generous?

It might be interesting to hear how generosity is viewed in other cultures–let us know!

In the meantime, now you know how to talk about those who are generous and kind which is always a good thing.

If you have any questions, please leave them below in the comments section.

We’ll get back to you as soon as we can.  

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