Is there a difference between `re-count’ and `recount’?

Yes, there is. The inclusion of the hyphen brings about a change in the meaning of the word. The word `re-count’ means `to count again’ or `a further count’.

Example: Both candidates demanded a re-count.

It must be mentioned here that not everyone uses the hyphen nowadays. The `e’ in the first syllable is pronounced like the `ee’ in `seed’, `feed’, and `need’.

The word `recount’, on the other hand, means to narrate. In this case, the `e’ is like the `i’ in `sit’, `bit’, and `hit’, and the stress is on `count’.

*The students recounted their adventures in the Himalayas.

Source: ‘Know Your English’ ( The Hindu) – May 29, 2006


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