- 1 Post By Rover_KE
- 2 Post By TheParser
Can you give me a tip about when to use North - adjective- or Northern?
I have not found any rule concerning the correct employ of these two adjectives.
Here's a discussion you will find interesting:
north-northern or south-southern.... - WordReference Forums
Ask again if there's anything you want to clarify.
********* NOT a teacher **********
Originally Posted by ratóncolorao
(1) You have asked a wonderful question, the answer to which
I also want to know.
(2) Teacher Rover's link was very helpful.
(3) I also checked my books and the Web and have a few points
to share with you:
(a) Bad news: there is no rule that you can use in every case.
(b) Generally speaking (VERY generally!!!), you would use North, South,
East, West for so-called compass points on the map. In other words,
names of countries.
(c) Generally speaking, you would use -ern words for an area of a
country. [That rule is credited to a gentleman named Alan, who
identifies himself as the co-founder of an English-learning website.]
(d) I think that Mr. Michael Swan in his popular (and most useful)
Practical English Usage put it best when he wrote:
"[T]here are a lot of exceptions to this rule."
The distinguised gentleman was referring to his rule, which is:
Use -ern words for rather indefinite areas; use south, east, etc.
for more clearly defined areas.
(e) Mr. Swan also emphasizes:
"[It] is often just a matter of custom, with no real reason for
the difference" !!!!! (my exclamation marks)
(f) I am very sorry, but you will have to simply read English for many
years until you start to get a "feeling" for the matter.
(g) We say South Korea (a compass point), but we say Southern Californa
(a part of a state. P. S. We capitalize Southern because it is a famous
area -- it includes Disneyland and Hollywood. Capitalization is another
problem that needs be discussed in another post!!!)
(h) We say northern France, eastern Canada, and southern Atlanta
because we are referring to an area of a country or a city.
But -- as many people have pointed out -- we say Northern (not
North) Ireland. (Maybe, it has something to do with the history of
the island of Ireland!!!)
(i) And Mr. Swan points out the difference between South Africa
(a country) and Southern Africa (the southern part of the continent).
(4) Well, I had better stop. As Teacher Rover suggested, if you have
a specific question, please post it, and someone will be delighted to
answer. I now end my post from North America which is in the Western
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