Today we will look at nouns and verbs related through a word stem. © English has a lot of words that end in -ion, over 3000, so today we have some helpful tips on working with -ion or ‘shn’ words.
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Science is nothing but percep-TION.
⭐ Plato, Philosopher
tutorial spelt optician
Hi there and welcome to Adept English.
How about we try to do a short cut today, an English tutorial that will help you with a lot of English words? What’s a tutorial? It’s a lesson – one to one. If you’ve signed up for our free course ‘The Seven Rules of Adept English’ – then you’ll know our method of learning English – and you’ll be familiar with the idea from Rule Six which talks about the ‘Helping Hand’. If you give someone a ‘helping hand’, it means that you help them out in a really useful way. And there are parts of learning English, where a little bit of help goes a long way. Where there are short-cuts to learning – things that are just worth knowing.
So today let’s do a spoken English tutorial which comes under the heading of ‘the Helping Hand of Adept English’. Some advice, some tips that’ll be useful. And oh – did I hear you say ‘No, I haven’t signed up yet for the free course’? You haven’t signed up yet? Well, The Seven Rules of Adept English - it’s free – free English lessons! And you’re missing out on much more than some spoken English tutorials, you’re missing essential information about how to use the podcasts, so that your English improves as fast as possible. So go to our website at adeptenglish.com and sign up for that today.
So I’m always drawing your attention to examples when there is a noun and a verb that are closely related. This occurs, it happens a lot in English. So for example you can use the verb ‘to drive’, D-R-I-V-E and you can say ‘I drive my car’ or you can ‘go for a drive’. Or I might ask someone “Where did you park your car? “And they reply “In the drive” – so a noun again, but with a different meaning. So there can be a lot of flexibility with some words – it’s common that it’s the same word for the noun or for the verb.
And very often you have nouns and verbs which are clearly related – it’s the same start to the word, it’s the same word stem, if you like. But often the nouns have ‘shn’ ending – like ‘television’ or ‘organisation’. And there are a lot of these words in English – over 3,000 for example, that end in -I-O-N. You might call these words ‘shn words’, because that’s how you pronounce the ending. The first part of the word is like the verb to which it’s related – but they’re usually made into a noun by adding -S-I-O-N or -T-I-O-N and it sounds like ‘shn’. Examples of these words would be the verb ‘to collect’, C-O-L-L-E-C-T and then the noun ‘collection’, or the verb ‘to decide’, D-E-C-I-D-E – and then the noun decision, which is D-E-C-I-S-I-O-N. So you can ‘decide’ or you can ‘make a decision’ and you can ‘collect’ or you can ‘make a collection’. It’s the same meaning.
These common nouns in English, which end in ‘shn’ generally have a Latin root. They therefore tend to be words which are used in more formal or official language or to be technical or specialist. If you’re hoping to study science, medicine, technology or law, then you’ll be dealing with lots of ‘shn’ words with these endings. It’s interesting that the Anglo Saxon words in English are much more expressive – these are the words from German language. They’re much more colourful on the whole and they’re associated with more informal language and everyday practical life! But in formal, technical or official or legal English – much more Latin is evident. Our language perhaps still reflects the period when the Romans were in charge of us!
So what’s the advice, what’s the short-cut I’m giving you today in this podcast? What’s today’s free English language tutorial?
A photograph of a professional man wearing glasses thinking about something.
Well, if you need to know the spelling of these ‘shn’ words, there are some rules which work most of the time. So if the verb that you’re going to make the ‘shn’ noun from, ends in the letter T or T-E, then mostly it’s a T-I-O-N ending.
So the examples I gave you were collect becomes collection – and that has a T-I-O-N on the end.
If you have the verb ‘to locate’, that means to place something, to find its location, that’s L-O-C-A-T-E meaning to find, when that becomes ‘location’, you spell it with a T-I-O-N on the end of the noun.
Another example – the verb ‘to appreciate’ meaning that you’re thankful, grateful, you like something. And the noun from this verb ‘to appreciate’ is a’ppreciation’, so there a ‘T-E’ ending on the verb becomes a T-I-O-N ending on the noun – just like ‘locate’.
So there are exceptions to this rule, but generally, if the verb ends in -T or -TE, then the noun ending will be -T-I-O-N. (One common exception is if the verb ends in M-I-T, but that’s in the second rule!)
Another common exception is verbs that end in V-E-R-T – like ‘to convert’ or ‘to divert’. When these change into nouns, they lose the T on the end and gain an S-I-O-N ending. So there are a lot of these words – ‘convert, conversion, divert, diversion, invert, inversion’. And they all have an S-I-O-N ending, even though they’ve got a T on the end of the original verb. So that’s worth knowing as an exception.
So that was the first rule of this English tutorial on ‘shn’ words.
The second rule for today – if you’ve got a verb which ends in S-S or M-I-T, then the noun associated that has a ‘shn’ ending will be spelt with S-S-I-O-N.
So examples of this – the verb ‘to possess’ P-O-S-S-E-S-S meaning to own something, it’s yours. When you make the ‘shn’ noun, it becomes possession, with S-S-I-O-N on the end. Similarly ‘to discuss’ to talk about something, D-I-S-C-U-S-S becomes discussion – with an S-S-I-O-N ending.
And verbs ending M-I-T like ‘transmit’ – if you want to make a noun out of them, with a ‘shn’ ending, then ‘transmit’ becomes ‘transmission’, with a S-S-I-O-N. Or ‘omit’ becomes omission, again S-S-I-O-N. ‘Emit’ becomes ‘emission’. You’ve heard me talk before about carbon emissions – so that means carbon that ‘comes out’, is emitted from the back of a car. ‘Permit’ or ‘to permit’ becomes ‘permission’. So again, there are a lot of these. And anything with an M-I-T ending like that comes from the Latin word for ‘to send’. So that’s why the endings are all the same.
OK. A third rule associated with ‘shn’ endings. If you have a verb with DE or D or S-E on the end, when it becomes a ‘shn’ noun, it’s more likely to be spelt S-I-O-N
So examples of this – the verb ‘to expand’, E-X-P-A-N-D meaning to get bigger, that becomes the noun ‘expansion’, S-I-O-N.
The verb ‘to decide’ becomes ‘decision’, S-I-O-N on the end.
The verb ‘to revise’ becomes ‘revision’, with S-I-O-N on the end. That’s what students have to do before their exams or their tests.
And notice verbs that end in PEL - so ones like ‘compel’. ‘Compel’ becomes ‘compulsion’ as a noun, ‘repel’ becomes ‘repulsion’ – so these are all S-I-O-N endings. ‘Expel’ becomes ‘expulsion’, ‘propel’ becomes ‘propulsion’. If you’re a scientist, this is the sort of vocabulary that you need to know. So I guess the rule is there that verbs ending P-E-L, become P-U-L-S-I-O-N, as a noun.
So that rule again, the third rule? If you have a verb with D-E, D or S-E ending, when it becomes a ‘shn’ noun, it’s spelt S-I-O-N. There are many words which follow this rule, but of course, there are always exceptions to any rule in English. So two very common examples of this - ‘to attend’ becomes ‘attention’, with a T-I-O-N and ‘to intend’ becomes ‘intention’, again T-I-O-N. But these are exceptions. Most D, or D-E or S-E ending verbs becomes S-I-O-N, when they’re a ‘shn’ noun.
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And finally, just let me mention ‘shn’ endings which are spelt C-I-A-N? These words, a whole different category, usually indicate a person’s job – like ‘a physician’ is a doctor or ‘an optician’ is an eye doctor or ‘a magician’ does magic for a living! That’s a whole different type of ‘shn’ word if it’s C-I-A-N and a whole different online English tutorial perhaps.
So there you have it. Adept English Rule Six – the Helping Hand of Adept English in action with this English tutorial on ‘shn’ words. I suggest you may need to listen to this a number of times to get it to stick! Let me know if this helps you!
Enough for now. Have a lovely day. Speak to you again soon. Goodbye.