Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 13

Thread: Automobile

  1. #1
    Mr.Lucky_One is offline Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Student or Learner
      • Native Language:
      • Russian
      • Home Country:
      • Russian Federation
      • Current Location:
      • Russian Federation
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Posts
    106
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Automobile

    I'd like to ask native speakers how often the word "automobile" is used in the English language.
    Is the word "car" used more often than "automobile"? If yes, then is there any synonym for "car" that is used as often as "car" is?
    Last edited by Mr.Lucky_One; 31-Jan-2013 at 14:54.

  2. #2
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • Philippines
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Posts
    41,590
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Automobile

    In British English, automobile is not common- we generally use car.

  3. #3
    tedtmc is offline Key Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Interested in Language
      • Native Language:
      • Chinese
      • Home Country:
      • Malaysia
      • Current Location:
      • Malaysia
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Posts
    2,130
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Automobile

    The Americans generally like to shorten words. This is one exception.

    not a teacher

  4. #4
    5jj's Avatar
    5jj is offline VIP Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Retired English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • England
      • Current Location:
      • Czech Republic
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Posts
    28,169
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Automobile

    Quote Originally Posted by tedtmc View Post
    The Americans generally like to shorten words.
    I am not sure that I agree.
    Last edited by Tdol; 01-Feb-2013 at 10:12. Reason: an -> am
    Please do not edit your question after it has received a response. Such editing can make the response hard for others to understand.


  5. #5
    billmcd is offline Key Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Posts
    3,505
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Automobile

    Quote Originally Posted by Tdol View Post
    In British English, automobile is not common- we generally use car.
    Same in AmE.

  6. #6
    Barb_D's Avatar
    Barb_D is offline Moderator
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Other
      • Native Language:
      • American English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    16,282
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Automobile

    Definitely "car" for me too, in speaking and in what I hear.
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

  7. #7
    tedtmc is offline Key Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Interested in Language
      • Native Language:
      • Chinese
      • Home Country:
      • Malaysia
      • Current Location:
      • Malaysia
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Posts
    2,130
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Automobile

    Quote Originally Posted by 5jj View Post
    I an not sure that I agree.
    What I meant was the differences in the spelling of certain words. American spellings tend to be shorter.

    British and American spelling - Oxford Dictionaries Online

    The word automobile is American in origin, no?
    Last edited by tedtmc; 01-Feb-2013 at 07:05.

  8. #8
    Amigos4's Avatar
    Amigos4 is offline VIP Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Academic
      • Native Language:
      • American English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Posts
    31,311
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Automobile

    Quote Originally Posted by tedtmc View Post
    The word automobile is American in origin, no?
    No! It is actually French; 1865–70; < French: literally, self-movable (vehicle). (Source: Dictionary.com)
    Last edited by Tdol; 01-Feb-2013 at 10:11. Reason: Fixing quote code

  9. #9
    tedtmc is offline Key Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Interested in Language
      • Native Language:
      • Chinese
      • Home Country:
      • Malaysia
      • Current Location:
      • Malaysia
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Posts
    2,130
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Automobile

    It was adopted as an English word by the Americans.

    Definition of automobile (British & World English)

  10. #10
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • Philippines
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Posts
    41,590
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Automobile

    In BrE, we use things like the car industry, a car manufacturer, etc. I can't think of any context where it would be the natural form.

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Similar Threads

  1. [Vocabulary] automobile make
    By Eway in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 29-Dec-2012, 07:51
  2. the auto mobile, automobiles or an automobile?
    By optimistic pessimist in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 21-Aug-2011, 05:03
  3. A smog-belching junk heap of an automobile
    By Bushwhacker in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 25-Mar-2008, 14:17
  4. "automobile" and "automotive"
    By kurokuro in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 12-Apr-2006, 05:37

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Hotchalk