delicate : 侧重指需要谨慎处理和对待。
- I need to speak to you about a delicate matter.
- The pay negotiations have reached a delicate point/stage.
- Teachers need to strike a delicate (= carefully achieved) balance between instructing their students and letting them discover things for themselves.
fine : 隐含“不易察觉的”意味。
- You really need a magnifying glass to appreciate all the fine detail.
- There's no need to make such fine distinctions.
- There's a fine line between love and hate (= it is easy for one to become the other) .
subtle : 侧重有洞察、领悟事物细微差别以及微妙关系的能力。
- The room was painted a subtle shade of pink.
- The play's message is perhaps too subtle to be understood by young children.
- subtle colours/flavours/smells, etc.
- There are subtle differences between the two versions.
- She's been dropping subtle hints about what she'd like as a present.