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  1. #1
    Mr.Lucky_One is offline Member
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    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 15:54.

  2. #2
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Re: Automobile

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

  3. #3
    tedtmc is offline Key Member
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    Re: Automobile

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

    not a teacher

  4. #4
    5jj's Avatar
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    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 11:12. Reason: an -> am

  5. #5
    billmcd is offline Key Member
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    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
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    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
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    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 08:05.

  8. #8
    Amigos4's Avatar
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    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 11:11. Reason: Fixing quote code

  9. #9
    tedtmc is offline Key Member
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    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
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    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.

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