Is "conversate" actually a word?

I have heard young people use this "word" in conversation as if it is a legitimate word. Of course, I know what they are trying to say, but it sounds horribly wrong. Some people think that if enough people use a nonsense word, it eventually becomes a legitmate part of our vocabulary. Others believe that the dictionary should be consulted regarding such matters. What do you think?

  • No, "conversate" is not a word and anyone who uses it sound illiterate
    50% (10)35% (7)42% (17)Vote
  • No, "conversate" is not a word but it is okay to use it in casual conversation.
    20% (4)10% (2)15% (6)Vote
  • Yes, "conversate" is a word and there is no problem with using it freely.
    20% (4)50% (10)35% (14)Vote
  • Yes, "conversate" is a word but it is okay to use it only in casual conversation.
    10% (2)5% (1)8% (3)Vote
And you are? I'm a GirlI'm a Guy

1|0
7|11

Most Helpful Girl

What Girls Said 6

  • It's not a word and when I hear someone use it, I cringe and want to get away from them. The word they should be using is converse
    Orientate is another really appalling sounding word but it's an actual word. It means "to face East" but people use it in place of orient, which makes no sense. There are many innocent words in the English language being bastardized by people who feel that saying them this way gives them some sort of verbal flair. It's repulsive to the ear like saying "warsh" for "wash." This sort of thing is a real pet peave for me because it has that nails on a chalkboard sensation to my ears. When people speak like this, it gives me the feeling that I might have too much class to be speaking with them, and I consider them social lepers. Lastly, do not ever say "edumacation." You clearly want to nauseate everyone within hearing range.

    0|1
    0|0
  • Who the fuck cares if it's a word? Lol. I wouldn't, haha. I would use it freely. Like, so what? Haha. People always gotta be so politically correct. Just go with the flow.

    0|0
    0|1
  • No.
    _____________________________

    0|1
    0|0
  • Lazy people *sigh*

    0|1
    0|0
  • The correct word is converse

    0|1
    0|0
  • i dont think it is an actual word. i think the correct word depending on the context is "converse" ? but i don't really know for sure lol. but i think conversate is okay to use haha

    0|0
    0|0

What Guys Said 11

  • It is a word, just non standard form.
    Here's an explanation I stole from someone who cared enough to put a detailed answer.

    "Conversate is a back-formation from conversation, similar to orientate (which is quite common in the UK), administrate, and others.

    While some back-formations can even become standard, conversate is decidedly nonstandard. However, it is not surprising that you have heard it used, because it is a word that is employed in some dialects. It is most commonly used in AAVE, a dialect of American English.

    Those who use conversate dialectally might be aware of the word converse, but choose not to use it either because conversate carries with it a difference in register/connotation that they want to employ, or because conversate has a slightly different meaning from converse in that dialect.

    These -ate back-formations happen because most nouns ending in -ation have a corresponding verb ending in -ate, but not all of them do. At some point in the past 400 years, the suffix -ment, which used to be a common way of converting verbs to nouns (govern -> government), was overtaken by the more productive -ation. There were so many -ate verbs springing up in English that could all be suffixed with -ion, that this -ation string was reanalyzed in English as a separate suffix (in addition to -ate and -ion) that could be attached to verbs that did not end in -ate. Nowadays, -ment is more or less unused, while -ation continues to be popular. For example, all verbs ending in -ize can be converted to -ization, even though there are no -izate verbs at all; verbs ending in -ify become -ification. And so on.

    So, with an -ation word, there are always two possibilities to create a verb: subtract -ion and get an -ate verb, or subtract -ation. Sometimes people create an -ate form spontaneously where none existed, either because of a speech error, a lack of awareness of the original verb, or perhaps because the -ate form sounds better prosodically. There is often a resistance to such a change, and so most of these back-formed -ate words don't extend beyond dialectal use, or don't even take hold at all. But very occasionally, the -ate form can become standard, as orientate arguably has in UK English.

    Incidentally, this is how many other types of standard words have come into existence: innovation/error/randomness → dialectal use → standard use."

    1|1
    0|0
    • So yea, currently it's not official but it is a word and quite possibly will be added to the dictionary lol

    • Show All
    • Yes, it does all depend on semantics: what constitutes a proper word?

    • Any word that lies within the rules of English grammar. But there are exceptions to the rules lol.

  • Well it's a word but is it a proper word? Probably not. It's like 'irregardless' and other things like that. It's slang that doesn't really work in formal settings. I wouldn't use conversate in a research paper or something because it wouldn't be acceptable.

    The proper word is converse.

    4|1
    0|0
  • According to my old mate Google,
    The correct form is "to converse". "Conversate" is incorrect. Conversation is a common word, and the matching verb is to converse, not *conversate. Still, it is not used very much compared to synonyms.

    1|1
    0|0
  • No, is converse

    0|1
    0|0
  • Conversate isn't an actual word... it's a slang term

    0|1
    0|0
  • No, I don't think "conversate" is actually a word as such. It sounds grammatically wrong when someone uses that word

    0|0
    0|0
  • Converse is the word, I don't think a person using conversate in casual conversation is right because there is no such word and the speaker will seem like he/she is illiterate...

    0|1
    0|0
  • Well it is in the dictionary.

    0|0
    0|0
  • It reminds me of the Beverly Hillbillies (American TV show, if the asker is American you will have heard of it at your age). I could see it now: Jethro: "Ellie Mae, Grannie 'n I was conversatin' about the leak in the sistern..."

    0|0
    0|0
  • The verb is "converse", not "conversate." A group of people who converse together are holding a conversation.

    2|1
    0|0
Loading...