Results 1 to 9 of 9
  1. zorank's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Croatian
      • Home Country:
      • Croatia
      • Current Location:
      • Sweden

    • Join Date: Sep 2011
    • Posts: 74
    #1

    "approximate" or "approximative"

    Both should be adjectives, of course.

    The second seems to be derivative of the other (so it is claimed in an online dictionary).

    But the first sounds strange to my Slavic ear in the scientific context, for example

    Approximate equations

    does not sound well. I think that

    Approximative equations

    sounds better. I am curious how an English speaking person sees this.

    Regards
    Zoran

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • American English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States

    • Join Date: Apr 2009
    • Posts: 12,310
    #2

    Re: "approximate" or "approximative"

    I had no idea that "approximative" exists as a word.

    Use "approximate."

  2. zorank's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Croatian
      • Home Country:
      • Croatia
      • Current Location:
      • Sweden

    • Join Date: Sep 2011
    • Posts: 74
    #3

    Re: "approximate" or "approximative"

    Thanks!

    By the way,

    definition of approximate from Oxford Dictionaries Online

    it says that the second word is the derivative of the first. Have no clue whether that means that the second words is a legitimate variant of the first.

    Also, googling for "An approximative model" gives many scientific papers with the term.

    Zoran

  3. JohnParis's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • France

    • Join Date: Oct 2011
    • Posts: 773
    #4

    Re: "approximate" or "approximative"

    Approximative isn't a word. Yet ...
    As for citing Google for frequency of apparition of words in scientific articles, that will get you nowhere. The number of hits returned by Google is not a reliable argument in support of the existence of a word.

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • American English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States

    • Join Date: Apr 2009
    • Posts: 12,310
    #5

    Re: "approximate" or "approximative"

    Approximative | Define Approximative at Dictionary.com

    "Approximative" is a word. It's the adjective form of "approximation."

    "Approximate" is an adjective meaning "very near."

    I am not sure the distinction between "This is an equation arrived at because I made an approximation" and "This is an equation arrived at because the results are very close to perfect" is real.

  4. zorank's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Croatian
      • Home Country:
      • Croatia
      • Current Location:
      • Sweden

    • Join Date: Sep 2011
    • Posts: 74
    #6

    Re: "approximate" or "approximative"

    Quote Originally Posted by JohnParis View Post
    Approximative isn't a word. Yet ...
    As for citing Google for frequency of apparition of words in scientific articles, that will get you nowhere. The number of hits returned by Google is not a reliable argument in support of the existence of a word.
    Well, well, I agree in principle. You are right. But, ... if a term of interest appears in published scientific literature, with skilled editors keeping a watchful eye, then I trust the term can be used. Of course, if the term appears on a blogg then I would be sceptical. The term we are discussing appears in the scientic literature. Just for the record.

  5. zorank's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Croatian
      • Home Country:
      • Croatia
      • Current Location:
      • Sweden

    • Join Date: Sep 2011
    • Posts: 74
    #7

    Re: "approximate" or "approximative"

    Quote Originally Posted by SoothingDave View Post
    Approximative | Define Approximative at Dictionary.com

    ... the adjective form of ...

    ...an adjective meaning ...
    .
    Is there a strict grammatical distinction between the two? Just curious...

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • American English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States

    • Join Date: Apr 2009
    • Posts: 12,310
    #8

    Re: "approximate" or "approximative"

    Quote Originally Posted by zorank View Post
    Is there a strict grammatical distinction between the two? Just curious...
    Not that I am aware of. I think the two words are synonymous, which is why I pick the common, simpler version.

    Now, maybe, maybe, there is a technical distinction in the academic field that makes them choose the other word. Or maybe they just are inflating their language to sound more important. Like utilizing "utilize" instead of "use."
    Last edited by SoothingDave; 05-Oct-2011 at 16:09.

  6. zorank's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Croatian
      • Home Country:
      • Croatia
      • Current Location:
      • Sweden

    • Join Date: Sep 2011
    • Posts: 74
    #9

    Re: "approximate" or "approximative"

    I like your analysis. Thanks!

Similar Threads

  1. Defining "Street," "Road," "Avenue," "Boulevard"
    By ahumphreys in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 31-Dec-2010, 08:14
  2. [Vocabulary] Difference between "health" and "wellness", "Diagnosis" and "Analysis"
    By tobysky in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 28-Dec-2010, 23:43
  3. [Vocabulary] How do you pronounce "Cotton", "Button", "Britain", "Manhattan"...
    By Williamyh in forum Pronunciation and Phonetics
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 24-Dec-2009, 09:36
  4. Replies: 2
    Last Post: 08-Sep-2008, 08:27
  5. confusing words "expressed" or "express" and "named" or"names"
    By Dawood Usmani in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 26-Oct-2007, 19:33

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

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