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E or A?

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E or A?

Postby Perry Lassiter » Tue Jul 12, 2011 10:56 am

Many words end in ant or ance. Just as many end in ent or ence. I now rely on the spell checker to scream if I get it wrong. Does anyone know whether there's a rule or principle involved here, or is it merely happenstance? (come to think of it, happenstance might be a good word.)
pl
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Postby Slava » Tue Jul 12, 2011 11:26 am

I can't be sure off the top of my head, but it seems to me that -ant -ent are adjectival, whereas -ance -ence are nounal.

dependent dependence
correspondent correspondence

etc.
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Postby Audiendus » Tue Jul 12, 2011 3:46 pm

Generally, if the word comes directly from Latin, its spelling is ant or ance if it is derived from a Latin verb ending in are, and ent or ence if the Latin verb ends in ere or ire. However, if it comes from Latin via French, its spelling is ant or ance regardless of the ending of the Latin verb. (Unfortunately, there is no systematic way of telling whether a word comes via French or not – you just have to learn the correct English spelling of each word.) In a few cases, ant is used for the noun and ent for the adjective.

Examples:
applicant (Latin applicare)
arrogant (Latin arrogare)
adherent (Latin adhaerere)
adjacent (Latin adiacere)
ambient (Latin ambire)
attendant (Latin attendere, but French attendant)
assistant (Latin assistere, but French assistant)
dependant [noun], dependent [adjective] (Latin dependere, but French dépendant).
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Postby Perry Lassiter » Wed Jul 13, 2011 12:44 am

fortunately, i seldom write much without a spell checker checking me!
pl
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Postby LukeJavan8 » Mon Aug 15, 2011 10:43 am

I came from the time slava speaks of: you just have to
learn the spelling. And teachers making you write the
word dozens of times if misspelled on a test takes care of
that.
Missed the word "responsibilities" on a test freshman
high school year. Five hundred times before school let
out taught me the spelling of it quickly.
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Postby Perry Lassiter » Mon Aug 15, 2011 3:34 pm

Never had a problem with reponsibilities, but still think about misspelled vs mispelled!
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Postby Slava » Mon Aug 15, 2011 3:43 pm

Perry Lassiter wrote:Never had a problem with reponsibilities, but still think about misspelled vs mispelled!
Have you seen this on the home page: http://www.alphadictionary.com/articles ... lling.html
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Postby LukeJavan8 » Tue Aug 16, 2011 12:21 pm

I'll have to check that out later. There is an interesting
discussion on another site concerning when to use
practice vs. practise, and which is a noun and which is
a verb.
The site you posted above does not have any discussion
of it.
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Practice vs. Practise

Postby Stargzer » Mon Sep 05, 2011 11:41 am

I'd say it depends on which variant of English you speak:

American Heritage Dictionary wrote:prac·tise

VERB:
&
NOUN:

Chiefly British

Variant of practice.


OTHER FORMS:
practis·er(Noun)
Regards//Larry

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Postby LukeJavan8 » Mon Sep 05, 2011 12:15 pm

That's pretty much the same conclusion on the other
site as well, and a couple "hardliners" holding to their
concept and not giving in....hence I stopped reading
it: no give and take.
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