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    • Join Date: Jun 2007
    • Posts: 13

    "west" and "western"

    I'm not clear with the difference between these two words.
    1.Sometimes people say "on the west side of the river", but sometimes they say "on the western side of the river", are they both right?
    2.We say "western countries", can we say "west countries"?

  1. Casiopea's Avatar

    • Join Date: Sep 2003
    • Posts: 12,970

    Re: "west" and "western"

    These are synonyms:
    1a. on the west side of the river. <point>
    2a. on the western side of the river. <direction>

    These are not synonymous:
    2a. Western countries <e.g., Canada, USA, etc.>
    2b. western countries <as opposed to eastern countries>

    Note, some writers do not capitalize 2a. They should.

    These ones seem to be used as synonyms for 2, but they aren't in my dialect of English:
    3a. West countries
    3b. west countries


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