Posted by: Idioma Extra | April 6, 2011

Thursday´s Tidbit


-ATE Suffix sound: “-it” or “-ate”?

You may notice that some words in English ending in –ate are pronounced like “ate” and other s are pronounced like “it.” Why is this? The answer is pretty simple. Words that end in –ate that are adjectives are pronounced like “it,” while other words with –ate suffixes that are verbs are pronounced like they look, “ate.” The majority of ­–ate ending words are verbs. In some cases, they can be both. Take a look at the chart.

“it” sound “ate” sound
Moderate (mod-er-it) moderate
Desperate (des-per-it) incarcerate
Separate (sep-er-it) separate
Affiliate (affil-i-it) confiscate
Corporate (cor-per-it) calibrate
Celibate (cel-i-bit) Tolerate
Appropriate (appro-pri-it) Demonstrate
Triplicate (trip-li-cit) Coordinate
Passionate (pash-i-nit) activate
Consulate (con-su-lit) initiate

Check Yourself

Complete the sentence and identify the correct sound (“-it” or “-ate”)

1. That type of language is not _________________ for this meeting. ___

2. We need you to _______________with the other team regarding the details of the project. ___

3. Could you please _______________ to us how it works? ___

4. He has been _____________ since he became a priest. ___

5. The police _______________ a lot of drugs from the crime scene. ___

6. We only provide classes to _______________ clients. ___

7. His lack of communication ________________ me. ___

8. I think she needs help! She sounded pretty ________________ on the telephone. ___

9. Divorce and marriage are two ________________ issues. ___

10. We had to ______________ the boys from the girls because of some problems. ___

Answers to last week’s check yourself:

Look at the following examples and underline the correct word. In some cases, both may be possible.

1. The technician had to fix (all / every) the computers in the department.

2. I need you to count (every / all) coin that you have.

3. I couldn’t eat (the whole / all) hamburger.

4. I try to exercise (every / all) month.

5. (Every / all) members of the group heard the noise.

6. I’m too tired to finish (the whole / all) assignment tonight.

7. (All / every) member of my family was invited.

8. Unfortunately, I need to work (every / all) week.

9. I lost (all / every) the files.

10. My boss told me to clean (the whole / all) the office.


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