How Proud is too Proud?

first second third place trophy trophies winner pride proud brag ESL English grammar vocabulary

When we succeed at or achieve one of our goals, we have the right to feel proud.  

To say “I am proud of  (…)” is a good thing.  For example:  I am proud of my child.   I am proud of graduating high school. I am proud of what I invented.  (Notice how the preposition “of” can be followed by a noun, a gerund or a noun clause.)

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However, sometimes people are too proud.  

When someone is too proud of him/herself, we accuse them of bragging.  When we brag or boast, we go on and on about our successes.  We make those around us feel unimportant or small in comparison.  For example:  My child got into a better university than yours did.  My GPA was higher than yours.  My invention made me a millionaire.

We might say that this kind of person has a big head or a swollen ego.  In fact, we might joke that his head is so big that we worry it won’t fit through the door!  We scold him for being a conceited person.

Take a look at the following positive and negative conversations:

(Good Proud)

A:  What are you smiling about?

B:  I’m just so relieved the test is done.

A: You must have done well.

B:  I did OK.  I’m satisfied with my grade.

A:  Let me see… What are you talking about!?  You got a perfect score.  You should be proud!

B:  I am proud, I guess.  I just don’t want to sound conceited.

A:  Don’t worry.  Take credit for what you did.  That’s a big accomplishment!

B:  Thanks.

(Bad Proud)

A: How’d you do on the last quiz?

B:  I got an 88%.

A:  I got a 98%.  In fact, the teacher said it was the highest score in the class.  That’s the second time I’ve gotten over 95%.

B:  Stop bragging!  We all know you don’t have a life.  All you ever do is study.

A:  Say what you like.  Some day you’ll be working for me!

B:  You’re so conceited.  I’d never work for you in a million years.

A:  You’re just a sore loser.

B:  And you have a big head.

 

Grammar Practice:  

Take a look at the following pictures.  Practice following “proud of” with a noun structure.  Some sample answers follow.

first second third place trophy trophies winner celebrate figures cartoon people pride proud brag ESL English grammar vocabulary

Possible Answers:
They are proud of winning a trophy.  They are proud of what they did.

 

softball athlete women girls people blue uniforms first place winner pride proud brag ESL English grammar vocabularyPossible Answers:
They are proud of their win.  They are proud of how much they accomplished this season.

 

swimming competition boy child cartoon drawing first place winner pride proud brag ESL English grammar vocabularyPossible Answers:
He is proud of his swimming.  He is proud of how fast he swam.

 

man person chess player competition check mate queen king game first second third place winner pride proud brag ESL English grammar vocabularyPossible Answers:
He is proud of his strategy.  He is proud of how well he played.

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