In Parts of Speech Part 1, we reviewed some definitions of common parts of speech in writing. This month, let’s look at usage and common errors with parts of speech.
Nouns, verbs, adjectives, and adverbs often have unique word endings, called suffixes. Looking at the suffix can help to distinguish the word from other parts of speech and can help identify the function of the word in the sentence. It is important to use the correct word form in written sentences so that readers can clearly follow the intended meaning.
Here are some common endings for the basic parts of speech. If ever in doubt, consult the dictionary for the correct word form.
Common noun endings: -age, -al, -dom, -ee, -ence/ance, -er/or, -ery, -hood, -ics, -ing, -ism, -ity/ty, -ment, -ness, -ry, -ship, -sion/tion/xion, -ure
Common verb endings: -ate, -en, -(i)fy, -ize
Common adjective endings: -able/ible, -al, -ed, -en, -ese, -ful, -ic, -ing, -ish, -ive, -ian, -less, -ly, -ous, -y
Common adverb endings: -ly, -ward(s), -wise
Being familiar with word families and suffixes can help correct for errors in word form. For example,
Here are a few examples of errors in word form within sentences:
Incorrect: The believe is that diversity is essential to the learning environment.
Correct: The belief is that diversity is essential to the learning environment.
Incorrect: Participant 1 shared his advise.
Correct: Participant 1 shared his advice.
Incorrect: In order to improve, it is necessary to have a flexibility outlook.
Correct: In order to improve, it is necessary to have a flexible outlook.
Incorrect: It is important to eat healthy.
Correct: It is important to eat healthily.
Revision Tip: Look back through your most recent draft of your capstone document and check suffixes for errors in word form. Make revisions as needed. Also see our web page on Sentence Structures and Types of Sentences for more information.