recurrence / reoccurrence

Discussion in 'French-English Vocabulary / Vocabulaire Français-Anglais' started by el effe, Jul 26, 2007.

  1. el effe Member

    France - French
    Hi everyone,

    Is there any difference between recurrence and reoccurrence?
    If not, is one form or the other more correct in written (British) English?

    Thanks for your help!

    El Effe
  2. cosmoturfer Member

    UK, English
    Personally I'd always use recurrence/recur rather than reoccurence/reoccur. I've definitely heard and seen both forms but I think the former is the standard form in written BE. It's certainly easier on the tongue. Rather like French verbs beginning with 'r' such as rapprocher (not reapprocher) etc.
  3. carmypies New Member

    USA - English
    I'm pretty sure that reoccurrence is not used in formal writing. I looked it up on, and the only reference it gave to that was from the early 1800s.

    If you said it, people would obviously know what you meant, but technically, I don't think it's common to use in writing.

  4. el effe Member

    France - French
    Thank you very much for you answers...
    I'll stick to "recurrence" from now on!

    El Effe
  5. Zamolxis Member

    I'm reopening this thread after 5 years, as I would be interested in a clearer explanation, if someone happens to know.

    Both recur & reoccur can be found in dictionaries, with a slightly different meaning:
    Recur = occur again periodically or repeatedly (e.g.: recurring sound, theme, contractions, ocean tides, etc)
    Reoccur = occur again, but rather unexpected or at least not according to a pattern (e.g.: measures were taken to avoid such disaster to reoccur)

    However I find it interesting that while both noun derrivatieves seem to be accepted by the Oxford dictionary (and others) - recurrence & reoccurrence - the latter is often rejected by spell checkers. Any idea why that is?
  6. prinjon Senior Member

    Near Paris
    French from Paris area
    I never checked before in dictionaries those 2 terms and I had in mind the definitions just above, so I concur with Zamolxis.
    I believe it is a matter of experience and capacity to grasp the difference when speaking, as they are not used by the common tongues but rather for specific cases (legal or scientific aspects make differences clear)

    In French, you would use se repeter/se reproduire/recidiver for both verbs but depending the way the sentence is introduced the meaning could be with either a multiple repetitive pattern (recurrence), or not (reoccurrence).
  7. Havenweb New Member

    English Wales
    Just to add some confirmation to the details provided by Zamolxis - In the Quality Assurance documents used by the Company for which I work I came across the entry "A CAPA systematically identifies the root causes of identified problems or risks in an attempt to prevent their recurrence (for corrective action) or to prevent reoccurrence (for preventive action)". This suggests that both forms are in current use and have slightly different meanings.

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