Do you say a cheat or a cheater, which is correct and which is not? 

The answer to this question is: it depends. Nothing significant, except for the points we shall soon examine, really determines whether you should say a cheater or a cheat. 

Both cheat and cheater are grammatical, contrary to what you’re made to believe in most Nigerian schools. 

After doing my research I found that we likely won’t say cheater in Nigeria not because it is not an English word but because it is peculiar to Americans and not British (the language of which is formal here). 

So, without circumlocutions, if you’re talking to an American or you want to sound American, say: He/she is a CHEATER, for example. 

To the Englishman, on the other hand, say: He/she is a CHEAT. Not a cheater (sounding like you’re referring to an animal).

As a matter of fact, ‘a cheat’ and ‘a cheater’ may sound strange to an American and a British, respectively. 

Similarly, in Australia, the most used form of the two words is cheat. There are several other countries that would rather say cheat and not cheater. 

Perhaps this phenomenon and a few others (I would suggest including the fact that England speaks the more formal English), the advisable form is ‘a cheat’. When you say a cheater, you sound less formal. 

Owing to this, you don’t want to write a formal letter and use such words as a cheater for a non-animal being. It encompasses not only some respect for the human person but also a nugget of civility. 

So, the bottom line is: whether or not it is proper for one to say ‘a cheat’ or ‘a cheater’ is more of a matter of context than correctness; both are English word forms, but in a formal setting, you use ‘a cheat’. 

It follows that a cheat, being sort of more acceptable, can be used in formal or informal settings than its ‘cheater’ counterpart which doesn’t usually make it to formal sittings. 

Read Also: Synonyms for Horribly and example sentences 

By the way, it is funny that if you call a person a cheater in countries like Nigeria you’d be laughed at. Lol. It’s merely ignorance—if everyone is aware that both are correct, laughing will be unnecessary. Though I’d rather use ‘cheat’ myself. 

Well, here is my acknowledgement that this composition focuses on Nigeria as a point of contact to other English-speaking countries. 

That’s all, for now. Do you have any questions on this? 

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