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  1. thedaffodils's Avatar
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    #1

    spectacular vs. spectacle

    Hi! Could you elucidate the difference between "spectacular" and "spectacle"?

    I am not clear about them even I look up my dictionary. The two words both can refer to an event.

    Thanks!



    spectacular (SHOW) noun [C]
    an event or performance which is very exciting to watch and which involves a lot of people
    spectacle (PUBLIC EVENT) noun [C or U]
    a splendid public event or show; a splendid appearance:
    The carnival was a magnificent spectacle.
    The television show was mere spectacle (= had a splendid appearance, but little value).
    The above definitions are excerpted from the Cambridge Dictionary.


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    #2

    Re: spectacular vs. spectacle

    I think spectacular is mainly used as an adjective.

    I cannot think of an example where it is used as a noun in modern day to day English.

    It was a spectacular show!

    The show was an amazing spectacle!

    So I don't think (in noun form) there is much difference, but you won't see spectacular as a noun very often (or to be more exact, I don't see it as a noun very often, and therefore I wouldn't expect you to).

  2. Raymott's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: spectacular vs. spectacle

    Quote Originally Posted by thedaffodils View Post
    Hi! Could you elucidate the difference between "spectacular" and "spectacle"?

    I am not clear about them even I look up my dictionary. The two words both can refer to an event.

    Thanks!

    The above definitions are excerpted from the Cambridge Dictionary.
    Yes, this is fairly common. Originally "a spectacular show", the noun is dropped and you have a "Spectacular" as a noun.
    There are other adjectives like this used as nouns. For example "finale" is the Italian adjective "final", but it is used as a noun in English. "Final" is an adjective, but has come to be used as a noun to mean the "final game", the "final exam" - often referred to as the "finals".
    An old example is "a constitutional walk" becoming a "constitutional".
    There's heaps - I just can't think of them right now, but in all cases it involves an adjective and noun that become so commonly used that the noun is dropped.

  3. thedaffodils's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: spectacular vs. spectacle

    Hi guys,

    Thank you for your help.

  4. BobK's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: spectacular vs. spectacle

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymott View Post
    Yes, this is fairly common. Originally "a spectacular show", the noun is dropped and you have a "Spectacular" as a noun.
    There are other adjectives like this used as nouns. For example "finale" is the Italian adjective "final", but it is used as a noun in English. "Final" is an adjective, but has come to be used as a noun to mean the "final game", the "final exam" - often referred to as the "finals".
    An old example is "a constitutional walk" becoming a "constitutional".
    There's heaps - I just can't think of them right now, but in all cases it involves an adjective and noun that become so commonly used that the noun is dropped.
    And not just in English. The root of "peach", in most Romance languages (except Spanish) means 'Persian': Online Etymology Dictionary

    Strangely - I'm sorry, I don't have an online reference for this, but it's probably in Elcock, The Romance Languages - it's not always the noun that gets dropped: the root for the French and Italian words for cheese mean "made in a mould" (fromage and formaggio).

    But I've strayed a bit from the original topic. I hop TD will forgive me.

    b

  5. thedaffodils's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: spectacular vs. spectacle

    BobK,

    Thank you for your input. I am a guest in the UsingEnglish; in any threads of mine, be my guest. Cheers!

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