Learn English – “Repairable” vs. “reparable” vs. “irreparable” vs. “unrepairable”


I've been looking online at these three words, but I'm not able to determine their relationship and the rules surrounding their usage.

I believe this is true:

  • Repairable: Just what you'd think, "capable of being repaired".
  • Reparable: Exactly the same as repairable (modulo spelling and pronunciation of course).
  • Irreparable: The opposite of the above.
  • Unrepairable: The same meaning as irreparable, but seems to be less commonly used.

Is all of this correct?

Best Answer

Pretty much. Repairable seems to be becoming more popular than reparable, having once been less popular, presumably because one can "piece it together" rather than having to learn the word.

More interestingly, Irreparable is much more popular than the rest put together, seemingly largely because it has a legal meaning and is often used in hyperbole and analogies.