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    #1

    stateman or statesman

    Hi teacher .

    Is there any rule to insert "-s-" into a compound noun like these :

    tradesman statesman portsman salesman spokesman

    But without '-s-' in the followings:

    Fisherman、Foreman、Newsman、Policeman、Postman

    what is the difference between the 'state' here ?

    stateswoman - state school

    Thanks in advance .

  1. Roman55's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: stateman or statesman

    I am not a teacher.

    I am not aware of any rule other than ease of pronunciation.

    In all of the examples you give of words without the 's' try to pronounce them with an 's' and see whether that makes it easier or not to say them. Then pronounce the 's' words without the 's' and you will see that none of these words flow as they should.

    I imagine 'portsman' is supposed to be 'sportsman'.

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    #3

    Re: stateman or statesman

    Quote Originally Posted by Roman55 View Post
    I am not a teacher.

    I am not aware of any rule other than ease of pronunciation.

    In all of the examples you give of words without the 's' try to pronounce them with an 's' and see whether that makes it easier or not to say them. Then pronounce the 's' words without the 's' and you will see that none of these words flow as they should.

    I imagine 'portsman' is supposed to be 'sportsman'.
    Thank you for your help .

    I think it isn't reasonable to account for easy pronounciation ,because we can't insert '-s-' into "Fisherman , Postman" for easy pronounciation .

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    #4

    Re: stateman or statesman

    They would both be harder to pronounce with an -s- inserted, at least to native speakers.

  2. lotus888's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: stateman or statesman

    That's a really good question -- and I'm not sure if there's a definitive answer to that. However, I think there is a distinction.

    Tradesman, statesman, sportsman, salesman, spokesman: All these persons are in a general category in their field.

    Tradesman: there are many trades or professions.
    Statesman: this can be a politician, ambassador or diplomat.
    Sportsman: there are definitely a variety of sports.
    Salesman: there are certainly many areas in sales.
    Spokesman: There are spokesmen/spokeswomen for almost any profession.

    Fisherman、Foreman、Newsman、Policeman、Postman: These are fairly specific fields.
    You can picture what they would wear in their jobs.


    --lotus
    Last edited by lotus888; 15-Aug-2014 at 07:26.

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