Learn English – Is “ask questions without hesitance” a correct phrase

phrasesword-choiceword-usage

more specifically, I was corrected when using "…without hesitance" and was asked to change it to "… without hesitation". Now I am confused. Was I wrong to say "ask questions without hesitance"?

To be even more exact. It was mentioned as a suggestion or a goal. For example:

Goals for Tom: Ask questions without hesitance

Which I was made to change to:

Goals for Tom: Ask questions without hesitation

After searching the internet a little bit, I think that they are synonyms so they should be interchangeable right? Or atleast interchangeable in that context? Basically what I want to know is was what I wrote downright wrong or in any need of correction?

Thank you

Best Answer

I don't think it's wrong, but hesitance is a fairly rare word. Here are some results from the Corpus of Contemporary American English:

HESITATION: 2686

HESITANCE: 57

The numbers are the number of hits. We can see that hesitance is much less common than hesitation. Let's try searching for without hesitation / hesitance:

WITHOUT HESITATION: 807

WITHOUT HESITANCE: 0

We can see that without hesitance is not something that people say very often if at all.

I have to say, my first thought when I saw without hesitance in your title was that it looked weird, but like I said, I don't think it's wrong. It's up to you: you can use it if you like, but you will risk sounding weird.