The Grammarphobia Blog

Don’t cry for me, Argentina

Q: I’ve heard someone, or something, from Argentina called an ar-gen-TINE, an argen-TEEN, and an argen-TIN-i-an. Which is correct?

A: The Random House Webster’s College Dictionary prefers the following English nouns (in order) for a native of Argentina:

(1) “Argentine” (pronounced ar-gen-TEEN.
(2) “Argentine” (ar-gen-TINE).
(3) “Argentinean” (ar-gen-TIN-i-an).

The adjectives referring to someone or something from Argentina are the same.

My husband, who worked as an American journalist in Buenos Aires in the 1960s, uses only the first one (pronounced ar-gen-TEEN) for both the noun and adjective.

The now old-fashioned way of referring to the country of Argentina (“the Argentine”) is usually pronounced the ar-gen-TINE.

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