"Fairytale" VS "Fairy Tale" VS "Fairy-tale"

Meriole

New Member
Français
Hello,

I'm french and I want to know if there are a difference between "Fairytale" / "Fairy Tale" / "Fairy-tale"? I mean, in which context we use specially those three words? Or the three words have the same meaning?

I had taken a look on this page: fairytale - English-French Dictionary WordReference.com

It's written that:
- fairytale is more used for the context of children's story, romantic
- fairy tale is more used for the context of fantasy story
- fairy-tale is more used for the context of magical, ideal

I will be really happy if someone can help me about my question.

Thank by advance.
 
  • lingobingo

    Senior Member
    English - England
    They all mean exactly the same. I think fairytale is probably the most common spelling. It's the one I would use, anyway.
     

    entangledbank

    Senior Member
    English - South-East England
    No, there's no difference between them (as nouns). English very often has this free choice between punctuation variations. As a modifier of another noun, we probably wouldn't use the version with a space: we'd prefer a fairy-tale quality or a fairytale quality.
     

    PaulQ

    Senior Member
    UK
    English - England
    A frequently collocated pair of nouns often make the transition from two words to hyphenated words to a single word. You are witnessing evolution in action. :D
     

    Glenfarclas

    Senior Member
    English (American)
    I would use 'fairy tale' as the noun, and 'fairytale' as an adjective.
    I agree, although "fairy-tale," with the hyphen, seems equally valid for the adjective. In any event, I think I would consider "fairytale" or "fairy-tale" to be incorrect as nouns and "fairy tale" to be incorrect as an adjective:

    He told the children a fairytale. :cross:
    He told the children a fairy-tale. :cross:
    They live a fairy tale life. :cross:
     

    lingobingo

    Senior Member
    English - England
    Annoyingly, even Oxford is of the opinion that fairytale should be written as two words. But in my book (yet to be written!:)), fairy story is two words, fairytale is one. And there are at least scores, very probably hundreds and quite possibly thousands of published books with Fairytale, as one word, in the title. It's surely pointless to be either prescriptive or proscriptive in this case.
     

    Meriole

    New Member
    Français
    Thanks you really much for all those fast answers.

    I have enough informations, to answer to my initial answer.

    Thank you for this kind welcome :)!

    I will post others messages when I have problem with english.:rolleyes:
     

    Andygc

    Senior Member
    British English
    Annoyingly, even Oxford is of the opinion that fairytale should be written as two words.
    No, it doesn't have an opinion on the matter, it merely reflects usage. One of the most recent citations is
    2012 Sun (Nexis) 4 Dec. 49 [He] was denied a fairytale ending to his Test career when dismissed for eight in his final top-level innings.
    All the OED shows is that the word "fairy-tale" is only recently evolving into "fairytale".
     

    lingobingo

    Senior Member
    English - England
    Just for the record, there are many quirks of language that irk me infinitely more than whether to put a space between fairy and tale. I'm fairly [sic] sure the same applies to everyone else on this forum. :D
     
    < Previous | Next >
    Top