“He has a reputation for being kind of eccentric.”
It's time to sign up for classes for the next semester at your university. A classmate asks if you know anything about a certain professor. You've never taken his classes, but you've heard that he dresses and acts a little strange. You say this.
He has a reputation for being kind of eccentric.
"Having a reputation for" something means that a lot of people say that about you.
For example, if a lot of students and colleagues say that a certain teacher is strict, you can say that he "has a reputation for being strict".
Here are some other examples:
He has a reputation for being an asshole.
They have a reputation for great customer service. (You can interpret this as "a reputation for (having) great customer service".)
An "eccentric" person acts strangely. They don't follow the normal rules of society that other people follow. But an "eccentric" is usually intelligent and well-respected.
Some examples of "eccentric" people in history are:
- Albert Einstein
- Mark Twain
- Lady Gaga
"Kind of" means "a little" or "somewhat". People often use it in spoken English:
It kind of took me by surprise.
You can use "kind of" before an adjective ("kind of shy") or before a verb ("kind of took me by surprise").
Another phrase with a similar meaning is "somewhat":
Most students find that university courses are somewhat more difficult than the classes that they took in high school.
"Somewhat" is more formal. Use "kind of" for most situations and "somewhat" when discussing academic topics or in writing.
The pronunciation of "kind of" sounds like "kinda".