DEFINITION OF DECLINE

By | June 19, 2022

The verb to decline, which comes from the Latin word declināre, can refer to the polite rejection of a proposal or a treat. For example: “You are very kind, but I am afraid that I must decline the invitation since I have another commitment assumed”, “Health problems led the deputy to decline his candidacy”, “I am going to have to decline my aspirations”.

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The idea of ​​decline can also be used in reference to a decline or a negative trend : “The company began to decline when its founder passed away”, “The departure due to injury of its captain caused the team to begin to decline”, “What do you plan to do the government to reverse the decline in productive activity?” .

Decline, on the other hand, is what something does when it approaches its term or its end : “I love going to the beach at the decline of the day to watch the sunset over the sea”, “The decisive goal came at the decline of the party”, “In the recline of life I aspire to be at peace”.

As also happens with other terms of our language, in everyday speech the verb decline in its reflexive form, decline, is often confused with decantarse. More specifically, some Spanish speakers incorrectly say that they decline for something, when in fact they mean that they prefer something.

Although in no dictionary is this word given a meaning that leads us to think of giving it such use, but, on the contrary, it is presented as a synonym for “rejecting something politely”, this error spreads throughout the world. through the media and thus reaches millions of listeners and readers who accept it as correct and incorporate it into their language.

For example, it is common to find sentences such as the following in newspapers and radio or television news programs : «The government has declined due to an infrastructure that is not so different from the current one as to justify the monetary investment», «To leave With the period of sexual discrimination behind, the army has finally declined to increase the number of women in its troops.

Of course, confusion in the use of language does not usually take place just because, without any reason, although many times the explanation is difficult to find. In this particular case, it is likely that it is due to the fact that the dictionary offered by the RAE indicates among the meanings of the verb to decline that it can be understood as “leaning sideways or downwards” or “changing customs or nature until reaching the opposite end to the original.

Although both definitions may have points in common with that of the verb to decant, in this case we are talking about involuntary movements, not as a result of a choice or preference, and that always point to a deterioration, to a decay; so much so that as an example of the change in customs, the RAE proposes «decline from virtue to weakness, to vice».

In the field of grammar, decline is an action that takes place in languages ​​that have casual inflection, consisting of expressing the forms that a term exhibits as a manifestation of the various cases.

The declension, in this framework, is a procedure of pronouns, adjectives and nouns to indicate the different grammatical relations existing in a sentence. When declining, you can mark the indirect object, the direct object, the subject, etc.

In general, the term is altered through a prefix, an infix or a suffix, achieving a nominal inflection that modifies certain morphemes of the word. Decline causes a grammatical change to be generated.

DECLINE