Argumentative vs. Argumentive – What’s the Difference?

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Candace Osmond

Candace Osmond studied Advanced Writing & Editing Essentials at MHC. She’s been an International and USA TODAY Bestselling Author for over a decade. And she’s worked as an Editor for several mid-sized publications. Candace has a keen eye for content editing and a high degree of expertise in Fiction.

Is it argumentative or argumentive? Are they two different words? Is argumentive even a real word? If you’ve ever asked yourself one of those questions, it’s time I iron it out for you, explain the difference, and show you how to use these adjectives properly.

Is Argumentive a Word?

Argumentative vs Argumentive Ngram
Argumentative and argumentive usage trend.

A straightforward answer to this used to be a resounding NO. Argumentive is still considered a non-standard variant or a common misspelling of the correct term argumentative. If you’ve used it before, don’t beat yourself up because it’s considered a real form of the term now, but argumentative is still the leader in popularity. English is a confusing language, but now you know.

Argumentative vs. Argumentive

Argumentative vs. Argumentive Whats the Difference

If you’re describing someone who often argues or likes to engage in heated debates, argumentative is the adjective you’re looking for. But, again, argumentive is accepted by some dictionaries and is sometimes used in the UK.

We all have met at least one person who could be labeled as argumentative. It’s someone who, no matter what, always seems to turn everything into a debate, or they have to go against whatever is said. My dad always said that you can tell some people that the sky is blue, and they’ll argue and say it’s purple.

How to Spell Argumentative

Take it slow, and remember it this way: it’s argument, then add tative. There you have it, a-r-g-u-m-e-n-t-a-t-i-v-e.

The Etymology of the Word Argumentative

The term argumentative derives from the late Old French word argumentatif during the late 15th century. This word, in turn, comes from the Medieval Latin argumentat-, from the verb argumentari. The root arguere means to make clear, prove, accuse, and argue.

What Is the Synonym of Argumentative?

If you’re tired of using argumentative and want to mix things up a bit, here are a few synonyms you can use.

  • Contentious
  • Quarrelsome
  • Combative
  • Disputatious
  • Controversial
  • Confrontational
  • Antagonistic
  • Belligerent

Argumentative Examples in a Sentence

Argumentative vs. Argumentive Whats the Difference 1

Let’s see how we can use argumentative in everyday language and writing.

  • Jane’s argumentative nature always made family dinners tense and uncomfortable for everyone.
  • I love my mother even though she’s so argumentative. 
  • Tom’s argumentative behavior in the meeting did not win him any supporters among his co-workers.
  • I need to change my ways because I’ve lost so many friends due to my argumentative behavior.
  • Despite being argumentative, Corey still had a knack for making his points clearly and persuasively.
  • My argumentative brother can turn even the simplest discussion into a full-blown debate where no one wins but him.
  • As an attorney, Margaret’s argumentative skills serve her well in and out of the courtroom.

There You Have It!

Whether you’re using it to describe someone’s nature or writing an essay, this powerful adjective can bring a certain zest to your language. Remember, being argumentative isn’t inherently bad; it’s how you argue that truly matters. So, go ahead and argue for your point—just make sure it’s in a constructive way!