Difference between Fiancé and Fiancée

Key difference: Fiancé refers to a male engaged to be married, while fiancée refers to a female engaged to be married. As each indicates a different gender, the terms cannot or at least should not be used interchangeably.

The terms Fiancé and Fiancée can be quite confusing as they sound similar and are essentially interrelated. Both the terms refer to people who are engaged. Engagement is a promise to wed. Engagement is also known as a betrothal. The term engagement also refers to the period of time between a marriage proposal and a marriage. This period can be long or short as depending on the wishes of the couple or their family. In some cultures, a couple may be engaged for only a few weeks, however, in some others, a couple may be betrothed since infancy. During this period, a couple is said to be betrothed, affianced, engaged to be married, or simply engaged. The man and woman may also be referred to as the betrothed, a wife-to-be or husband-to-be, or fiancée or fiancé.

 The term fiancée or fiancé comes from the French fiancer, which means “to get engaged”. The terms are actually conjugations of the verb, fiancer, depending on the gender that it is used to refer. Fiancé refers to a male engaged to be married, while fiancée refers to a female engaged to be married. As each indicates a different gender, the terms cannot or at least should not be used interchangeably.

One way to remember which refers to which, is to refer to the number of E’s in the words “male” and “female.” As the term “Male” has only one E, so does “fiancé” the term for an engaged man. Whereas, “fiancée” has two Es similar to “female.” However, here the accent is placed over the first E, while in “fiancé” the accent is placed on the only E.

If someone is more of a science-minded person, rather than a literary-minded person, then they can match the number of E’s to the typical number of X sex chromosomes in a person.  A man’s sex chromosome makeup is usually XY, while women are typically XX. Hence, the number of Es can be associated with the number of Xs in the sex chromosome. As men have only one X, the get only one E to make “fiancé”, whereas “fiancée” has two Es, as women have two Xs.

Comparison between Fiancé and Fiancée:

 

Fiancé

Fiancée

Definition

Refers to an engaged man

Refers to an engaged female

Gender

Male

Female

Comes From

Fiancer = to be engaged

Fiancer = to be engaged

Language origin

French

French

Number of Es

One

Two

Accent

On the only E

On the first E

Image Courtesy: theyuniversity.net

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