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I am presently trying to learn the difference between arias and arie. Both are listed as being the plural form of aria. I can provide the following as an example sentence:

"A gifted rendition of the ari[e/as]."

Which case is best to use in this sentence?

According to my research, arias is for common usage; this makes me wonder whether arie is formal. Can anyone confirm if it matters or not which case is used, in a formal or informal situation.

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aria is a loanword from Italian. As such, its plural can be formed in one of two ways:

  1. Taking the Italian singular aria and using its corresponding Italian plural arie.
  2. Taking the loanword aria and treating it as a standard English word, pluralizing by adding the "-s" suffix to form arias.

Linguists and other specialists often debate whether one method or the other is more "correct." The answer usually depends on the context and the actual usage of people on the street; in general people are more uptight about not using "-s" when the loanword comes from Latin than when it comes from other languages.

In my experience (I am a person who grew up in a musical household, but I am not a music professional): arias is used as the plural and I have never heard of arie until just now.

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  • Interesting, thank you for answering. The word arie appears in this image I found (i.imgur.com/N8mJelA.png) of a sheet music, to provide an example. – aitía Mar 18 at 2:39
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    @aitía: the text on that page is not even in English to begin with, it is in German! So that is part of the answer, in German "Arie" is the singular and "Arien" is the plural. – randomhead Mar 18 at 2:55

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