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"Like 優しい, the na-adjective 親切(しんせつ) means “kind,” and it is used to evaluate someone who does something kind for a person in trouble or is considerate to others. However, 親切 is used to describe the character of someone based on his/her action, and is not usually used when referring to one’s own family or close friends. " source

Why 親切 is incompatible with "describing the character of someone based on his/her action" when referring to one’s own family or close friends ?

  • Because 親切 means/implies "to be helpful/hospitable to others/他人 ", maybe? – Chocolate May 6 '18 at 3:09
  • @Chocolate For you this sentence "彼が親切な人だと思う。" means that he is kind to "others" (others= not family and not close friends) without telling clearly that he is also kind with family and close friends ? – Jirei May 6 '18 at 7:30
  • Yeah.. when I heard 彼は親切な人だと思う I'd just think the person is nice/helpful to 他人... Unlike 優しい, 親切な sounds pretty distant. If I heard あの人は優しいと思う I'd think s/he is nice to anyone, like family, friends, strangers, or maybe animals too... – Chocolate May 7 '18 at 1:08

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