Suffixes for present tense verbs

by Shweta Ramkumar

There is an abundant variety of verbs in the English language that range from simple to long, complex ones. When you start learning the language, you might learn basic ones such as go, come, eat, sleep, run, walk, jump, drink, read and write. There are a lot of verbs however that are much longer in number of letters and usually end with four types of suffixes.

The ‘-EN’ suffix is used to describe verbs related to becoming or transforming to a state of being. For example, darken (darker), shorten (become shorter), lengthen (longer), thicken (thicker), widen (wider), strengthen (stronger).

The ‘IFY’ suffix is applied when making something. For example clarify (make clearer), simplify (simpler), amplify (bigger), Identify (recognise), modify (change).

The “ISE’ suffix represents when doing something. For example, criticise (being critical), modernise (making something modern), realise (learning something), recognise (identifying something), optimise, synthesise (literally make something).

The “ATE” suffix describes verbs that bring about a state. For example, communicate, generate, demonstrate, illustrate, suffocate, calculate, enunciate. 

I’ve often seen my German students add the -ATE suffix to the most simple verbs such as present becoming “presentate”, advertisate, reservate and confrontate. They are all incorrect and when giving them feedback, they assumed that this is the only suffix used in verbs. In order to remember which verbs do and do not require a suffix, and if they do, which particular suffix, takes plenty of trial and error and practice. Working out the meaning of the verb and the context in which it is applied can go a long way in ensuring better accuracy when using them in your English communication.

Hi, I'm Shweta

I coach non-native English speaking healthcare professionals how to advance in their career and build better relationships with their patients and colleagues by expressing themselves more articulately and confidently in the English language.

I work closely with healthcare professionals who work with patients regularly. I help them improve their communication skills when interacting with patients and colleagues, teach them how to show up authentically, assertively and articulately in their field of work in order for them to ultimately gain credibility, validation and respect.

If you work in a clinical role in the healthcare industry and would like to learn more about how to better connect and communicate openly with your clients / patients, book a complimentary 30 minute discovery call with me to see how I can best support you.

Shweta Ramkumar - English Language Confidence Coach

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