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    #1

    Fortnight

    Hi all,

    I've seem the word fortnight already, and I know it means a time period of 2 weeks, but is it an usual word in American English? Or is it more used in British English?

    Can I use the term if Im writing a formal document or is it better to avoid it? For exemple, can I say something like "The debates will be held periodically (e.g., fortnight)" or this will sound weird?

  1. bhaisahab's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Fortnight

    Quote Originally Posted by luaya View Post
    Hi all,

    I've seem the word fortnight already, and I know it means a time period of 2 weeks, but is it an usual word in American English? Or is it more used in British English?

    Can I use the term if Im writing a formal document or is it better to avoid it? For exemple, can I say something like "The debates will be held periodically (e.g., fortnight)" or this will sound weird?
    "A fortnight" is very commonly used, certainly in BrE, and I think in most other varieties as well. "The debates will be held fortnightly" is a correct sentence.


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    #3

    Re: Fortnight

    Quote Originally Posted by Gillnetter View Post
    It would not be used in American English. I had to look up the meaning, though I had heard it in the past.
    (Not a teacher)

    This suprised me a lot. I thought 'fortnight' was as common as 'two weeks' in all Englishes.

    "The debates will be held periodically (e.g., fortnight)"
    It would need to be 'fortnightly', not fortnight. I would say you could use fortnight in any style of writing/speaking. It's a very common word here (British English). More common than 'two weeks'.

    EDIT: I notice that you speak Portuguese. My fiance, who is a native Brazilian, says that it is used the same way as 'quinzena', and is used as frequently. She also said that 'quinzena' is not formal, just like fortnight.
    Last edited by Linguist__; 10-Feb-2010 at 17:46. Reason: Additional text

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    #4

    Re: Fortnight

    Quote Originally Posted by luaya View Post
    Hi all,

    I've seem the word fortnight already, and I know it means a time period of 2 weeks, but is it an usual word in American English? Or is it more used in British English?

    Can I use the term if Im writing a formal document or is it better to avoid it? For exemple, can I say something like "The debates will be held periodically (e.g., fortnight)" or this will sound weird?
    ***NOT A TEACHER***I cannot prove it, of course, but I would bet that most Americans who did not attend college would have no idea of this word. (In fact, maybe some college students don't, either.) If you used this word, people would look at you in a very strange manner. Of course, it is a wonderful word (fourteen nights = two weeks), but it is not American English -- for the ordinary speaker. Thank you.

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