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Questions tagged [suffixes]

A suffix is an element of a language that is added to the end of a word. E.g. -ly is a suffix often found at the end of adverbs: really, quickly, happily, strangely, etc., -d/-ed is a suffix often found at the end of a verb to denote the simple past: used, bruised, grazed, heated, etc.

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Which is correct in this instance? The word with ing or without ing?

I didn't see him come. Or: I didn't see him coming. I know that did is usually followed by the... base?... form of a verb, but what about after the verb after using the form? Do we use -ing or use ...
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Pronunciation of the -ate suffix

I've noticed that a few words may be both a noun and an adjective, remain spelt the same, but change the pronunciation of -ate to ət or āt. Sometimes the meanings are related, others they are not. ...
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When did “committee” become a collective noun, and why?

According to dictionary.com, "committee" comes from late Middle English, with the suffix -ee added to the word "commit". Typical use of the -ee suffix would imply the meaning of "one who commits" or "...
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How do you form adjectives?

Are there rules to adjectivalization? English is my native tongue and I somehow just realized all the different forms adjectives can take. We can have: Nouns: -al -ary -ful -ic -ical -ish -less -...
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Is “skills-wise” correct English?

In the following sentence: ...take a technical test, so your team can determine if I am suitable for the position skills-wise. Is "skills-wise" legitimate English? If not, how could I change it ...
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171 views

If -ment suffix is from Old French, then why does it form nouns instead of adverbs?

The suffix -ment forms nouns from verbs, e.g. entertain → entertainment. A similar suffix exists in French (and -mente in other Romance languages) that forms adverbs from adjectives, e.g. sûr → ...
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Candidature - problem with suffix- ship

Can 'Candidature-Ship' be proper word . or it must be just Candidature ! Like , I would like to apply my candidature -ship for the post Retail Manager . Is the sentence is Valid ?
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Difference between economic and economical [duplicate]

well, I wanted to know what is the difference between economic and economical and I will be grateful if you can help me.
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pattern of the names of languages [duplicate]

Is there any pattern for the names of the languages? in very cases, the name of the language seems to have relationships with its origin in some pattern, but at all, it is different case to case and I ...
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1answer
57 views

What words frequently collocate with “-wise”? [closed]

Would it make any sense if just combined any nouns with with -wise? For example, Aesthetic-wise? Money-wise?
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What 'type' of a word is the word “goings-on”?

I'm not sure how to phrase this correctly, but I noticed that the word "goings-on" has the plural suffix of '-s' before the end of the word. If this wasn't the case, it would be "going-ons" which of ...
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1answer
82 views

Shouldn't “some of the phenomenon” be plural?

The paragraph: Our team conducts fundamental research in Philosophy, trying to push the boundaries of what is possible with new techniques, and also trying to understand and formalize some of ...
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118 views

Where is the stress of the noun “Portuguese”?

Studying suffixes I've learned that "-ESE" is a strong suffix, therefore it holds the main stress when it's added to a word (e.g. China -> Chinese; Japan -> Japanese; journal -> journalese; etc.). ...
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Is there currently a shift from -nce word endings to -ncy word endings?

This is something I think I've noticed, but maybe I've just been noticing odd word choices and putting it down to a shift in language use. Has anyone noticed a shift from people using verb-derived ...
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A term for an ending that makes a subject from a verb?

I was looking up "wallah" and the OED said "from the Hindi suffix -vālā ‘doer’" and I was wondering if there was a term for suffixes like this. I suspect the answer is really trivial More English ...
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Is the verb suffix -en (as in light->lighten) rooted in German?

Is the verb suffix -en (as in light->lighten) rooted in German? German verbs in their infinitive form always end in -en.
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841 views

Is there a suffix that means “the science of…”

I'm writing a fantasy book and I'm trying to come up with words to describe certain magic subjects and I want it to sound right.
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298 views

Usage of wide as a suffix

I've looked for the subject, but I don't find a comprehensive answer. I've checked Fowler's MEU, but I'm not happy with the answers I find because I don't find the precise point I'm looking for, so I ...
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Suffix corresponding to an idea described with two nouns

Please pardon my lack of understanding for major English Language concepts, I'll be using layman's terms. Now, I've encountered this issue in the past while writing. Consider this text: That was ...
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Is 'fer' a somewhat usual spelling of 'for', or is it perhaps restricted to cricket ('five-fer')?

-fer a suffix to any number, meaning the number of wickets taken by a team or bowler. (See also fifer/five-fer) Wikipedia I assume that 'fer' means, or is derived from, 'for' with the usually ...
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132 views

What determines the stress of an adjective formed by adding “-ive” to a verb ending in “-ate”?

Some verbs ending in -ate keep their original syllable stress when you add the suffix -ive to form an adjective e.g., imitate/imitative meditate/meditative investigate/investigative For ...
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112 views

Past tense of MOT? [duplicate]

I'm usually quite good at this kind of thing but can't decide on this. When describing when a car has had its MOT (Ministry of Transport) test do I write... Recently MOTd Recently MOT'd Recently ...
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Why is the “up” in “sign-up” related to “creating a new account” but “in” in “sign-in” refers to a existing one? [closed]

What is the difference between in and up that causes the meaning of sign to change? Research: etymonline's entries for sign-in and sign-up don't help much.
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Do prefixes & suffixes have antonyms?

Question Do prefixes & suffixes have antonyms? As in, is it possible for a prefix or suffix to not have an antonym? Example Google defines "-gon" as: -gon combining form in nouns ...
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Difference between the -genous and -ginous word suffixes

I was wondering whether anyone knows the exact difference between the English suffixes -agenous and -aginous. I believe the difference is that the first suffix has to do with describing the rough ...
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How do I write a variable as an ordinal number?

I'm charged with translating a technical document into English, and ran into a bit of an odd problem: the document refers to undefined numbers of elements, and uses letters to represent those numbers, ...
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134 views

“Fadable” vs. “Fadeable”: which is preferred?

This answer has some great insight on adding -able to the word "scrape". I'm wondering if there is any reason to use "fadable". "Fadeable" has a very clear pronunciation and is how I would guess it ...
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4answers
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Does the “-s” change the word class of “it”? [closed]

The word it is a pronoun. When I add an s to it, does it change the word class? For example in the following sentence: The gift is still in its box. My questions are: Does the "S" change ...
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130 views

Do I use the suffix -ist or -istic in adjectival forms of words that end in -ism

So basically, I want to use the word infallibilism in its adjectival form and I don't whether to write infallibilist or infallibilistic. I have to say the former sounds better for some reason. An ...
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556 views

Would you please explain to me the morphology of the word retroviral?

I cannot understand the morphology of the word retroviral. is "re" the prefix? I think the prefix might be retro, is that true? is "al the suffix? I am assuming that "viral" is the root, is ...
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172 views

Synonyms for -mancy (like necromancy)

It's common enough for a type of magic to be described in fantasy as *-mancy: Arithmancy in Harry Potter, Astromancy in Warhammer 40k, etc. that picking a Greek or Latin root and adding -mancy is ...
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1answer
71 views

What is the proper definition of this suffix, if any?

What would the suffix of the following words be known as, if anything? I have seen a pattern and am wanting to see if what I am seeing has any actual merit and history, or if this is just me ...
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Why do we write “fixing” instead of “fixxing”?

When we have one vowel and one consonant and we want to add 'ing', we usually double the last consonant. Why don't we add an extra 'x' to the word 'fix'? We don't double 'w' and 'y' maybe because they ...
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Why is it “argument” instead of “arguement”?

Why would you replace the <e> in argue before affixing <-ment>?
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409 views

Word Formation: Noun Suffixes and their Spelling and Stress Shift Rules

I've been having a real hard time trying to gather information about word formation in English, more specifically about the rules involving suffixes that turn verbs and adjectives into nouns. But not ...
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155 views

“atheistic scientist” vs “atheist scientist” [closed]

I know that it's "atheist scientist" but "atheistic regime", "atheist YouTuber" but "atheistic channel" in common use but I can't find out why. When do we use "atheistic" and when "atheist" and why? ...
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Why do some ---ify verbs have a different noun ending?

The following verbs follow a pattern as to their associated noun: rectify / rectification amplify / amplification exemplify / exemplification sanctify / sanctification clarify / clarification ...
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When is it possible to form an adjective ending in “-onian”? Could we say “Marxonian”?

Why do we use the adjective "Marxist" and not "Marxonian"? Please explain the use of these unusual suffixes. Another one that comes to mind is "Draconian". How do we decide what suffix to use? What ...
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Using the verb “line” for something round [closed]

When we use the verb "line" in the following sense: The room was lined with bookshelves. We drove along a tree-lined highway. Does "lined" necessarily have to denote things that run in a ...
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Irregular verbs: the history of the suffix “-en” used in past participles

Recently, I've been helping my home students learn the past participles of some of the irregular verbs, in a "new" way. Basically, I show that sometimes the suffix -(e)n is added to the PRESENT stem. ...
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Contentious vs Contentment - same root but different meaning [closed]

I am having trouble in figuring it out why there is a difference between their meaning as i think that the root "content" is shared by both the words content + ious ; content + ment where contentment ...
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422 views

“Science fiction-y”

I recently saw a TED Talk in which the speaker used the term "science fiction-y", making an adjective out of "science fiction". Is it ok to form your own adjectives in that way? If so, should there be ...
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The history of the English “postmeridian”

There's a question on English Language Learners that's been making the rounds recently, it's been on the Hot Network Questions list since January 5 this year and has attracted something like 36,000 ...
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1answer
108 views

How is “burial” incorrectly formed?

OED says that: Middle English buryel, biriel, incorrectly formed as a singular of byriels, buriels n., q.v.; in later times associated with nouns in -al from French, such as espousal-s. Etymonline....
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330 views

What’s the diminutive form of “reindeer”?

Could you please tell me what the diminutive form of reindeer is? How do children call it? A pig is 'piggy', a dog is 'doggy', a reindeer is ... 'reinee'?
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1answer
434 views

Is there a name for when a prefix changes its meaning due to being strongly associated to a single word?

The prefix "crypto-" originally meant "hidden". Now, due to its association with "cryptography", the prefix has shifted to mean something more like "secure" when used in new words, e.g. "...
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How do you make a surname show where you live? [closed]

If one wanted to show where they came from, for example: first name: David Last name: of the white mountains Would there be a prefix/suffix? (like the "Mc" in McDonalds)
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Why doesn't “astronomy” end with an “s”?

I heard that many disciplines whose names end with the letter “s” as if they were plural actually came from Greek/Latin words of plural form (e.g. mathematics from mathematika). It seems like, however,...
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Is there a Male suffix equivalent to -et/-ette?

I wanted to add a suffix to crone and damsel that would make them masculine without resorting to a male equivalent word, (that's a different question.) We have the male-to-female conversion example ...
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Can I change the suffix of a work in a direct quote?

Okay so the quote I am using is "... shielding the public from the messy, imprecise consequences of a war—making the coverage incomplete, and even deceptive." Am I able to change shielding to shield? ...