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Hi,

According to my googling ( and English corpora based searches) native speakers do occasionally use "six-stringed guitar" ( for "six-string guitar", which I guess is a norm in modern English).

If you could explain the differences ( if any) between the modifiers "six,etc. -string" and "six-stringed" in more detail? Maybe "six-stringed" is just dated or something?

Thanks you for your help with this....

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vlivef

Hi,

According to my googling ( and English corpora based searches) native speakers do occasionally use "six-stringed guitar" ( for "six-string guitar", which I guess is a norm in modern English).

If you could explain the differences ( if any) between the modifiers "six,etc. -string" and "six-stringed" in more detail? Maybe "six-stringed" is just dated or something?

Thanks you for your help with this....

Such usage does not follow any set of strict rules. People say what they say, and some things sound odd and some don't. The guitar can go either way, but "six-string" is usual. In fact, a guitar can be called simply a six-string or twelve-string in the context of guitars: "Are you going to use the six-string or the twelve-string for that song tonight?"

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 AlpheccaStars's reply was promoted to an answer.
AlpheccaStarsYou can see the changeover in usage around 1970.

Very interesting... How do you think such changeover can be explained? Just a general tendency to shorten everything all the time? ...."the shorter - the better"?
Appreciate your help, AlpheccaStars!

anonymous In fact, a guitar can be called simply a six-string or twelve-string in the context of guitars:

Thanks for pointing out this interesting nuance, Anonymous!

(On the other hand, wouldn't it be a bit "too slangy" to use six-string for six-string guitar? )


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Slang has a trace of the risque, so this is not slang. You can only call it a "six-string" if you are already talking about guitars, and there are other types in the picture.

I wonder whether the rise of the electric twelve-string didn't influence the usage.

vlivefHow do you think such changeover can be explained?

Have you ever read about the history and evolution of human language?
Languages evolve, just like biological species. The changes are ever so small, like this one, but after years and years of accumulation of changes, the old form of the language will be unintelligible to modern speakers. For example, over the past 1500 years, modern French evolved from Latin and modern English evolved from Old English. Modern Frenchmen cannot understand Latin, and native English-speaking people cannot understand Old English. All the European languages, with a handful of exceptions, evolved from PIE (Proto-Indo-European), a dead language.