I don't think there's a great difference between the meaning of the words - they both mean that circumstances have become such that whatever it is will be bound to happen, it cannot be avoided, but there is a slight difference in their application.Could anybody explain me a difference between those two words?
According to the Oxford English Dictionary the two words are indeed synonymous. With regard to actual usage unavoidable usually refers to something one would rather have avoided."Unavoidable" means something that cannot be avoided. "Inevitable" means something that is bound to happen. Accordingly, in most contexts, they are synonyms.
You've said this twice now, Statuesque. You may be right, but have you any evidence to support it?According to the Oxford English Dictionary the two words are indeed synonymous. With regard to actual usage unavoidable usually refers to something one would rather have avoided.
???You've said this twice now, Statuesque. You may be right, but have you any evidence to support it?
If one looks at a pleasant consequence, say winning a match as a footballer, does the one sound better than the other?:
1. We were playing well, so our victory was unavoidable.
2. We were playing well, so our victory was inevitable.
Yes, I think 2. sounds fine, and 1. absurd, so I agree with you.
Hi jusap, We have suggested usage differences, in several posts. Did you just not see them, or did you disagree with our suggestions?It might help to point out that "inevitable" comes from the same root as "éviter", which means... "avoid".
I tend to believe there are no true synonyms, but unless there are no true translations these would be as close as it gets! I look forward to hearing, however, if anybody finds a usage difference.
Perhaps "inevitable" is used more for matters of fate and "unavoidable" for matters of human intervention?
Don't you think it's implicit in my post 4?Hi Thomas Tompion, I read them and look forward to more, and to more consensus! But I willingly concede I wasn't very clear about that.
For the victory example, I agree that 2. sounds a lot better.
I think I can't help but hear "éviter" in "inevitable" and so that colors it for me, just like "avoid" jumps out to you.
What do you think about the fate/human intervention possible dichotomy? Does that make any sense to you?
Jusap, after earth-shaking that post says 'events, in which individuals have less say' and mentions earthquakes and tsunamis; now you, above, are drawing a distinction between those events and, to quote you, an event exempt of human intervention or responsibility. Earthquakes and Tsunamis come into that category surely. You appear to be reproaching me for a view I don't hold and haven't put forward.Thomas Tompion, I don't equate scale or "earth shaking events" with fate. I consider, for example, the bombing of Hiroshima to be pretty huge and "earth shaking", but it can hardly be considered an event exempt of human intervention or responsibility. Perhaps you will say that the residents had no say in the matter and were subjected to it as they would be to an act of fate, but I, for one, do not wish to place the actions of governments on the same line as those of "God".
I was positing an amended, simpler dichotomy for consideration.
That distinction is neat, but is it valid? To demonstrate it would require showing that the usage of the terms in respectable sources does in fact observe such a distinction.Not everything that is unavoidable is inevitable, but the reverse is true.
it does seem to me that 'inevitable' is the term more often applied to matters beyond human control, and 'unavoidable' more often to matters within human control.
There is a difference between saying (a) that that is a fact and saying (b) that it is our personal impression.That is essentially what I am saying. 'Unavoidable' is less restricted.