7

I was wondering whether "tradeable" is the British English version of the American word "tradable"?

Given that the word "trade" ends with an "e", I compare it to the word "love" which I see more often as "lovable".

3
  • 2
    Note that evidence from Google Books suggests that tradable is the more commonly used form, both in BrE and AmE. books.google.com/ngrams/…
    – user 66974
    Commented Apr 24, 2020 at 18:20
  • Following on from @Decapitated Soul's comment: 'Bridgeable' is far more common than 'bridgable' (Google Ngrams), though the fact that 'bridgable' exists shows that some don't consider it necessary to include the 'e' for the informing of pronunciation. // But this question is crying out for readily available data. Dictionaries often mention 'AmE' vs 'BrE' spelling preferences, and Ngram searches may be suitably refined. And wouldn't the lexeme have first been used among Brits? It would then be a 'British word', however spelled. Commented Apr 24, 2020 at 18:27
  • There are no strong rules dictating one form or the other. And good old Noah Webster threw things into a jumble by moving "e" around in many words. Best you can do is pick the one that is most idiomatic in your dialect.
    – Hot Licks
    Commented Apr 24, 2020 at 21:05

1 Answer 1

9

I don't think it's British/ American distinction. Tradeable and tradable are the same word having the same meaning.

The suffix -able is often added to verbs (and sometimes nouns) to make adjectives. When the base word ends with a silent e and the suffix -able is appended, then the e is often removed only if its removal doesn't change the pronunciation of the preceding consonant in the base word:

  • trade + able → tradeable or tradable
  • update + able → updateable or updatable
  • love + able → loveable or lovable

However, when the base word ends in -ge or -ce, the e is kept:

  • notice + able → noticeable not *noticable
  • manage + able → manageable not *managable

in the above words, the e is kept because its removal turns /s/ and /d͡ʒ/ to /k/ and /g/, respectively.

In all of the OP's examples, the removal of the e doesn't change the pronunciation, so both forms are correct and acceptable. Which one to use is a matter of personal preference.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.