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  1. #1
    abtin is offline Newbie
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    Cool boy friend - male friend

    hello

    what's the difference between boyfriend and male friend?


    so thanks!

  2. #2
    SoothingDave is online now VIP Member
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    Default Re: boy friend - male friend

    A "boyfriend" or "girlfriend" (one word) is a romantic partner. A "boy friend" or "girl friend" is simply a friend of that particular sex.

  3. #3
    tzfujimino's Avatar
    tzfujimino is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: boy friend - male friend

    Hello, abtin.
    Welcome to the forum.

    I'm really sorry I'm hijacking your thread, but please allow me to ask a question here.

    Is 'boyfriend' pronounced(stressed) differently from 'boy friend'?

    P.S. If I should have started another thread on this question, please tell me so. I will next time.
    (I thought it might be a good idea to ask the question here.)

  4. #4
    TheParser is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: boy friend - male friend

    ***** NOT A TEACHER *****


    Hello, Abtin:

    Those two words have to be used very carefully here in the United States.

    (1) A non-gay man usually refers to his "friends" (or "male friends" if he wants to distinguish them from his

    "female friends"). He can also use words like "buddy" or "pal."

    (2) A gay man may use the word "boyfriend" for a romantic partner. A non-gay man may NOT use the word

    "boyfriend."

    (a) BUT it IS OK for a non-gay woman to refer to her "girlfriends." Many women say things like "My girlfriends and I

    are going to the movies tonight," but a non-gay man would NEVER say "My boyfriends and I are ...." If he did, other

    people would think that he were gay.

  5. #5
    FreeToyInside's Avatar
    FreeToyInside is offline Member
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    Default Re: boy friend - male friend

    Quote Originally Posted by tzfujimino View Post
    Hello, abtin.
    Welcome to the forum.

    I'm really sorry I'm hijacking your thread, but please allow me to ask a question here.

    Is 'boyfriend' pronounced(stressed) differently from 'boy friend'?

    P.S. If I should have started another thread on this question, please tell me so. I will next time.
    (I thought it might be a good idea to ask the question here.)
    Yes, there's a difference in stress. If you wanted to clear up confusion and point out that the person you referred to as your boyfriend or girlfriend is actually a boy friend or girl friend, in AmE we lightly stress 'boy' and somewhat heavily stress 'friend', and put a pause between the words.

    "He's not my boyfriend, but my boy,,friend."

    I also very frequently hear 'guy friends' as opposed to 'male friends' when it's needed to point out which gender they are.


    (not a teacher, just a language lover)

  6. #6
    emsr2d2's Avatar
    emsr2d2 is offline Moderator
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    Default Re: boy friend - male friend

    There was another very similar thread recently but I don't seem to be able to track it down.

    In BrE, boyfriend/girlfriend refer almost exclusively to romantic partners, regardless of whether it's a heterosexual or a homosexual relationship. The use of "girlfriend" by women to refer to their female friends is starting to be heard but it's still quite new. It also has the potential to be a little confusing. If a girl/woman who I had only recently met and therefore whose sexual orientation was unknown to me said "I'm going to the cinema with my girlfriend tonight", I would probably immediately assume that she was going with her lesbian partner. The same confusion doesn't occur in the plural though. If she said "I'm going to the cinema with my girlfriends tonight" I would just assume she was going with a group of female friends.

  7. #7
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    mayita1usa is offline Member
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    Default Re: boy friend - male friend

    Quote Originally Posted by emsr2d2 View Post
    ... If a girl/woman who I had only recently met and therefore whose sexual orientation was unknown to me said "I'm going to the cinema with my girlfriend tonight", I would probably immediately assume that she was going with her lesbian partner...
    I sometimes hear attempts to avoid confusion in a case like that by using the indefinite article - I'm going to the cinema with a girlfriend tonight - meaning "one of several" and thus implying friendship, rather than the exclusive, romantic relationship that my signifies. (Although I suppose both males and females sometimes have several of those kinds of girlfriends as well!)

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