Verb endings

In this activity we will look at suffixes which change adjectives and nouns into verbs. This process is a part of derivational morphology

Goals

  • Practise changing adjectives and nouns into verbs using certain suffixes.
  • Identify the patterns and restrictions on using suffixes to change nouns and adjectives into verbs.
  • Discuss the way that verbs derived from nouns and adjectives behave differently in sentences from nouns and adjectives.

Lesson Plan

The teacher explains that today, we will add suffixes to words to change their word class. Adding a suffix to a word sometimes changes the word class, for example from adjective to noun (kind/kindness). This contributes to the vocabulary of the language, giving us more ways to express meanings.

Slide 1 in the activity page in the right hand menu presents adjectives which can be turned into verbs by adding certain suffixes. There are numerous adjectives and three different suffixes given in the first slide. The suffixes are: -en, -ify, -ise. Students should work out which suffix to add to each word. There are multiple copies of each suffix, enough to match one up with each word.

In some cases you will need to allow for a change in spelling at the end of the word when the suffix is added (the change is not shown in the puzzle).

Present the activity in slideshow mode on a projector or smart board, and complete the following tasks:

  • Drag a card to the right or left of another card to join them together. The other card should briefly flash.
  • Double-click a joined card to separate it from the other one.
  • Decide whether a spelling change is required in each case, and if so, describe it.

Answers are presented in slide 2.

Discussion

You probably noticed that the adjectives are quite 'fussy' because they generally only take one of the suffixes. If we swap suffixes around, we get results like freshise, simplen or legalify, which sound quite strange.

Did you notice the spelling adjustments needed when adding the suffixes to some of the words? There were a number of words ending in -e where the e needed to be removed in order to add a suffix starting with a vowel. For example:

  • loose + -enloosen (NOT looseen)
  • pure + -ifypurify (NOT pureify)
  • intense + -ifyintensify (NOT intenseify)

Extension task

Now choose three pairs of adjectives and verbs from the examples and do the following:

  • For each pair, write two sentences, one with the adjective and one with the verb.
  • How can we tell that one of the pair is an adjective and one is a verb? Can you show how they behave differently in sentences?

In the third slide, the words are nouns which can be turned into verbs by adding certain suffixes. They are the same three suffixes as in Puzzle 1 (i.e. -en, -ify, -ise) but now they are added to nouns instead of adjectives.

Again you need to work out which suffix can be added to which word. In some examples, you will need to allow for an adjustment to the end of the noun when adding the verb ending. The adjustment is not shown in the puzzle.

  • Drag a card to the right or left of another card to join them together. The other card should briefly flash.
  • Double-click a joined card to separate it from the other one.
  • You can ask for one or more clues if you wish, but you will not score points for these items.

Discussion

These adjectives, like the nouns in Puzzle 1, are rather particular about which verb-forming suffix they will accept. Other combinations, like classise, computeren or frightify, seem quite odd.

Did you notice the adjustments needed to some of the nouns when adding the suffixes? There were a number of nouns ending in -y, where the y needed to be removed when adding a suffix starting in a vowel. For example:

  • mummy + -ifymummify (NOT mummyify)
  • beauty + -ifybeautify (NOT beautyify)
  • apology + -iseapologise (NOT apologyise)

As well as the spelling, the pronunciation also needed adjustment, by removing the vowel sound represented by the y from the pronunciation.

Extension task

Now select three pairs of nouns and verbs from the examples and do the following:

  • For each pair, write two sentences, one with the noun and one with the verb.
  • How can we tell that one of the pair is a noun and one is a verb? Can you explain how they behave differently?

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