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  1. #1
    Abstract Idea is offline Key Member
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    Default finite and infinite

    I keep hearing the different pronunciation of these words (finite and infinite) in Answers.com: Wiki Q&A combined with free online dictionary, thesaurus, and encyclopedias (my "pronunciation guide"), in order to learn them.

    However, still it sounds weird to me. In sentences like "In both finite and infinite dimensional spaces ... " the sound of these two words seem to lack a kind of symmetry which the words themselves possess.

    Is there any exception for the pronunciation of "finite" and "infinite" ? Are they always pronounced about the same way?

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    BobK is offline Harmless drudge
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    Default Re: finite and infinite

    Always the same - that is, always different from each other. 'Finite' has two diphthongs, and 'infinite' has none; also the stress on 'finite' is on the first syllable, and the stress on 'infinite' is similarly on the first, so the two syllables fi- and -nite are as different as they could possibly be! Sometimes I've heard people preserving symmetry by saying 'finite and non-finite' - though 'non-finite' and 'infinite' have different meanings so perhaps they're talking about something else (I'm not a mathematician)

    b

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    Abstract Idea is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: finite and infinite

    Quote Originally Posted by BobK View Post
    Always the same - that is, always different from each other. 'Finite' has two diphthongs, and 'infinite' has none; also the stress on 'finite' is on the first syllable, and the stress on 'infinite' is similarly on the first, so the two syllables fi- and -nite are as different as they could possibly be! Sometimes I've heard people preserving symmetry by saying 'finite and non-finite' - though 'non-finite' and 'infinite' have different meanings so perhaps they're talking about something else (I'm not a mathematician)

    b
    Thanks for your reply BobK. The idea of saying 'finite and non-finite' seems interesting. In all mathematical contexts I can remember 'non-finite' and 'infinite' mean the very same thing.

    I have just observed 'non-finite' is used in English grammar (non-finite verb).
    This concept is new to me, I had never seen this nomenclature before. I'll have to study it soon.

    Next questions:
    Are there other contexts to use 'non-finite' other than grammar and math?
    Is 'non-finite' a complete synonym for 'infinite' in mathematics?
    For linguistis and linguistics lovers: I know the word 'unfinite' does not exist, but somehow it keeps trying to enter this discussion.

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