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What is the difference between "endless July" and "eternal July" and which one is correct or is preferable?

It's a metaphor, it's about happiest month in a person's life, so he wants it to be eternal or endless. I have looked at phrases like "eternal summer" and "endless summer", but I don't fully understand the difference.

Example

"We'll wake up together in an endless/eternal July."

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3 Answers 3

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Although the meanings of these two words overlap (both refer to events that never seem to end), there are nuances particular to each of them. To put it briefly, endless focuses on the lack of the end, whereas eternal focuses on unchangeability by the factor of time.

Endless

being or seeming to be without end (M-W)
If you say that something is endless, you mean that it is very large or lasts for a very long time, and it seems as if it will never stop. (Collins)

Eternal

without beginning or end; lasting for ever
denoting or relating to that which is without beginning and end, regarded as an attribute of God (Collins)

So if endless is stuck in time, eternal can go beyond the dimension of time by its nature.

However, in your context, the two terms mainly overlap, though eternal may fringe connotations such as otherworldly, atemporal, ethereal to describe your July.

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  • Collins' definition of eternal doesn't really bring out the claim of immutability. Commented May 28 at 10:14
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    @EdwinAshworth I didn't quote enough. Edited now.
    – fev
    Commented May 28 at 10:16
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    I think the religious/'spiritual' connotations of 'eternal' you mention are valid here. 'Imperishable' in I Peter 1:4 comes readily to mind. Commented May 28 at 10:20
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Well, 'eternal' refers to endless time, 'endless' on the other hand can mean always anything that seems to go on forever.

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    So, what's the difference between "endless July" and "eternal July"? Commented May 28 at 6:19
  • ... Yes, the inclusion of 'July' forces the temporal interpretation. Commented May 28 at 10:26
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I find it hard to make out any real sense out of a randomly chosen sentence. What exactly is the source of this sentence? Is it from a novel or is it perhaps a line from a love poem? As a standalone sentence, it's pointless to dwell upon the subtleties of the two words endless and eternal. Just the simple dictionary meanings of the words should suffice. The words would take on subtly different meanings when read against a particular context. For that you should flesh out your question. No use splitting hairs over this, otherwise.

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    @EdwinAshworth Edited. Thank you.
    – user405662
    Commented May 28 at 10:21
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    A very valid comment, but this could be the answer to so many questions here. I imagine that contributors on Writing.SE have more scope to offer speculations on the shades of meaning of what is essentially poetry, but here 'primarily opinion-based' is often the correct response. Commented May 28 at 10:22

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