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    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Student or Learner
      • Native Language:
      • Arabic
      • Home Country:
      • Lebanon
      • Current Location:
      • Lebanon

    • Join Date: Sep 2008
    • Posts: 118
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    #1

    "ence" vs "ance"

    is there a rule of thumb to distnguish when a word ends with "ence" and when it sends with "ance". For example, existence and importance. Sometimes I encountered words and I was puzzled about whethere to put e or a and I had to check teh dictionary to know.

    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Academic
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • Canada

    • Join Date: Oct 2008
    • Posts: 1,211
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    #2

    Re: "ence" vs "ance"

    The short answer you've already discovered: The Dictionary.

    The long answer is probably more than you want to know. It has to do with the preceding letters and sounds. When it's a hard c or g for example, it's -ance (significance, arrogance, etc); when soft, it's -ence (innocence, intelligence). Still interested? It gets worse: "Y" roots add -ance (defy > defiance), -ist words add -ence (existence) and it goes on and on.

    Yep. The Dictionary.

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