Do I need to repeat on the word "word" in the following sentence?

"The word “lumbar” came from Latin word “lumbus” that means loin. "

  • 1
    Here's how I'd write the sentence: The word "lumbar" came from Latin "lumbus," which means "loin." I'm not sure if you can put the word word there without an article in front of Latin.
    – user1513
    Nov 4, 2015 at 9:02
  • Seriously, what is the problem with the word "that" that you changed it into "which"? Nov 4, 2015 at 9:40
  • 1
    I feel that the relative clause there should be non-restrictive (which means we should use which rather than that); we've already told the reader that the word is "lumbus," not any other word, so the information (i.e. the meaning of the word) is only supplementary. I could be wrong, though. That's why I'm not confident enough to write an answer.
    – user1513
    Nov 4, 2015 at 9:49

2 Answers 2


Using word is optional. Using the is not. If you don't use word, then you use Latin as an adjective to describe "lumbus".

That versus which is slightly more complicated. As originally posted, with that, it is easily comprehensible but doesn't sound quite right. As Fantasier pointed out, that's because we already know which word it is.

Hence your sentence should read:

The word “lumbar” came from the Latin word “lumbus”, which means "loin".

But you could alternatively say any of the following:

The word “lumbar” came from the Latin “lumbus”, which means "loin".

The word “lumbar” came from the Latin word that means "loin": "lumbus".

The word “lumbar” came from the Latin “lumbus”, meaning "loin".


It depends on the style. Since the context is clear as you are talking about the origin of the word already mentioned, it is understood that you are talking about Latin word. So, without the word 'word', it's understandable.

On the other hand, putting the word 'word' won't harm. In fact, you are staying more clear as there, 'Latin' serves as an adjective and you are just telling that you are talking about Latin word and not Latin language/culture or whatever.

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