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Word Play

Transforming Words

As you’ve seen, some words function as only one part of speech, while other words easily function in multiple ways. What do you do if there is a word that you really want to use, but it isn’t the correct part of speech? Don’t worry. There are some suffixes, or word endings, that you can use to help transform your word into something you are able to use. Let’s try a few out!

-OUS: This suffix means “full of” and can be used to transform words into adjectives. For example, if I was talking about a meat-eating dinosaur, I could say, “That carnivore is carnivorous.” By adding the -ous ending, I was able to transform the noun “carnivore” into the adjective “carnivorous.” You try a few, but be careful. Some of them aren’t as easy as just adding an -ous:

1. ridicule (verb: to make fun of)

____________________(adjective: absurd)

2. contagion (noun: a disease that can be transmitted)

____________________(adjective: like to spread and affect others)

3. scandal (noun: a disgraceful situation or damage to a reputation)

____________________(adjective: disgraceful, shocking)

4. fame (noun: widespread and favorable reputation)

____________________(adjective: renowned, celebrated)

5. cavern (noun: a cave, especially one that is large and mostly underground)

____________________(adjective: deep-set, hollow, deep-sounding)

6. caution (noun: alertness in a hazardous situation; care)

____________________(adjective: showing or using extra care)

7. grace (noun: favor or goodwill, elegance or beauty)

____________________(adjective: pleasantly kind, benevolent)

-TION: This suffix means “state or quality” and can be used to turn words into nouns. For example, if I participated in an event, I might talk about my participation. By adding the -tion ending to the verb, I turned it into a noun. You try a few, but be careful. Some of them aren’t as easy as just adding a -tion:

8. demonstrate (verb: to describe, explain, or illustrate by example)

____________________(noun: something serving as proof or supporting evidence)

9. elect (verb: to choose a leader by voting)

____________________(noun: the selection of a person for office by voting)

10. cite (verb: to quote OR to officially summon to court)

____________________(noun: a summons to appear in court, a quote)

11. extinct (adjective: no longer in existence, died out)

____________________(noun: the act of dying out)

12. alter (verb: to make different, to modify)

____________________(noun: a change, modification, or adjustment)

13. attentive (adjective: observant, thoughtful of others)

____________________(noun: observant care, consideration)

14. fascinating (adjective: of great interest, captivating)

____________________(noun: powerful attraction, charm)