Competete a variant of Compete used in colloquial speech, but is written with the same spelling as the latter, has come into use (at the least) in Indian English variants if in no other English variants.

The question here is how could it have been formed? I had a few ideas of my own:

1) It is maybe the result of -tion deletion which generally adds a t sound in return, thus adding an extra t sound after compete.

2) It is maybe the pronunciation /kum-pe-ti-shun/ and not /kom-puh-ti-shun/ which requires the extra t sound syllable to maintain the pronunciation stress on pe - /kum-pe-teet/ and not /kum-peet/

Edit: this is unlike association -> associate and connotation -> connotate

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    In Indian English I've usually heard /kum(p)-ti-shun/, so I don't know if that is the whole reason. Btw remember that stress in Indian English corresponds with lower intonation.
    – Aryaman
    Nov 9, 2017 at 23:54
  • @aryaman the variant you are talking about exists in places around U.P. belt (if you know what I am talking about) , I did not intentionally compare that, because it would have added confusion. About lower intonation I'll have to learn more. Nov 10, 2017 at 1:17
  • Yes, it does seem to be common in more rural/uneducated accent. I am a Dilliwala, so I am familiar with UP speech.
    – Aryaman
    Nov 12, 2017 at 1:36
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    @aryaman I was exactly second guessing that ;) Nov 12, 2017 at 7:02
  • @Aryaman: "... remember that stress in Indian English corresponds with lower intonation." -- Can you support your claim with any references, facts, data, etc.? Jun 15, 2020 at 15:23

1 Answer 1


It's called analogy, and besides competition there is also competitor (already with two t's) suggesting the form to competete.

Looking at the Latin original forms (competere, competo, competivi, competitum) the creation of the form to compete looks irregular, it should be something like to competite using the most prevalent borrowing pattern of modern English.

  • 1) are you suggesting that Indian English is not the only langugae to have this? 2) Is this the answer?, i.e. is this green-tick-mark-able or is there multiple answers / thoughts one could give? Nov 6, 2017 at 11:59
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    1) I have no data, but I'd expect other varieties of English to show this as well. 2) You can wait for some days for more answers to appear here and than chose where to put the green tick. Nov 6, 2017 at 12:55
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    The point is that adult 2nd language learners may hear derivations first (competitive, etc.) and use analogy to construct an erroneous root.
    – amI
    Nov 7, 2017 at 21:19

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