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    • Join Date: Aug 2007
    • Posts: 26
    #1

    eternality vs eternity

    Teacher,
    When to use the word "eternality" and the word "eternity"?

    Is this sentence right?
    The wise men were with him for eternality?
    or ... for eternity?


    • Join Date: Nov 2008
    • Posts: 5
    #2

    Re: eternality vs eternity

    The word "eternity" is a noun and means "a span of time without end"

    The word "eternality" is also, strictly speaking, a noun, but it is used as an adjective, i.e it describes a trait of the noun or phase it modifies. It means "having the trait of lasting for a span of time without end".

    Therefore the sentence you cite should be "The wise men were with him for eternity". However, if the wise men hung about for a very long time and then left, you might say "The wise men were with him for AN eternity". The use of the indefinite article makes all the difference by indicating that there was, indeed, an end to the time the wise guys hung about

    If the presence of the wise men were an annoyance, as the presence of wise men often is, you might say: "The eternality of the presence of the wise men was hard to bear", thereby saying in a round about way that the silly twits just wouldn't leave

    Sam

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    #3

    Re: eternality vs eternity

    Quote Originally Posted by YOJ View Post
    Teacher,
    When to use the word "eternality" and the word "eternity"?

    Is this sentence right?
    The wise men were with him for eternality?
    or ... for eternity?
    "Eternality" and "eternity" both mean "eternalness" that is, the state of being eternal. I don't think I've ever used the word eternality in my life, and I doubt whether most people have even heard of it.
    Therefore, I would advise you; if in doubt, say "eternity".


    • Join Date: Oct 2006
    • Posts: 19,434
    #4

    Re: eternality vs eternity

    Quote Originally Posted by Sam Steenhuus View Post

    If the presence of the wise men were an annoyance, as the presence of wise men often is, you might say: "The eternality of the presence of the wise men was hard to bear", thereby saying in a round about way that the silly twits just wouldn't leave

    Sam

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