I heard the word 'finite' pronounced today as 'fie-nite' (forgive the horrible phonetic representation, I think it will do the job, though). I checked a dictionary and sure enough, that is how it is supposed to be pronounced. This was most definitely the first time, however, that I ever heard anyone pronounce it this way, so I have either never heard the word in speech before, or I have been hearing it pronounced differently. I always though that 'finite' was pronounced nearly the same as the last two syllables of 'infinite', with emphasis on the first syllable. I always pronounced the word as 'fin-it'. Have I had it wrong all this time? Or is there more than one way to pronounce the word?
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I've always said and heard it as 'fie-nite'.

finite indeed has the tense i in both syllables. The tense vowel is the typical pronunciation for the last syllable of all two-syllable words ending in -ate, -ete, -ite, -ote, -ute, even when the first syllable has the primary stress, as in the examples below.

innate, vacate, vibrate, athlete, crinite, phosphite, compote, hirsute, tribute

There are just a few exceptions: palate, pirate, granite, minute.
Here the last syllable takes the lax i pronunciation in all cases.

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The problem with your explaination is that it makes sense of finite but then begs the question is infinite the word that defys convention. i haven't herd of a word that changes when an extra syllable is added. eg revibrate and vibrate are said the same way using the same convention.
Anonymous i I haven't herd heard of a word that changes when an extra syllable is added.
Well, you can't say that anymore now, can you?

infinite follows the pronunciation pattern of definite, requisite, exquisite, perquisite, opposite, apposite.

Besides, there's also photograph/photographer.
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yes it is like that only... fie-nite... fie like in fight and nite like in night...
what about the pronunciation fin-eet?

Not natural.

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