Unit 24: From rags to riches
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- 1 Pop-ups
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- 4 Travellers' tales
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- 7 Career changes
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- 18 A nip and a tuck: cosmetic surgery
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- 20 Telling stories
- 21 Fakes and phrasals
- 22 Looking to the future
- 23 Becoming familiar with things
- 24 From rags to riches
- 25 Against the odds
- 26 Our future on Mars?
- 27 Where is it illegal to get a fish drunk?
- 28 Dodgy dating
- 29 Annoying advice
- 30 I'll have been studying English for thirty weeks
Are you paying attention? Lots of English words end with the suffixes -ion, -sion and -tian. But which suffix goes with which word? In this session, we'll share some suffix-related spelling tips.
Suffixes -tian, -sion, -tion
What is your secret ambition? Do you have a confession to make? Have you ever met a Martian? Listen to Finn and Catherine talk about words with the suffixes -ion, -sion and -tian in this episode of 6 Minute Vocabulary. You'll hear about a theft from a museum and lots of examples of words with these suffixes.
Listen to the audio
Hello and welcome to 6 Minute Vocabulary. I'm Catherine…
And I'm Finn. Now make sure you pay attention because we have a lot of information…
That's right… and attention and information are a good introduction to the programme.
They are. They both end in 'shun' /ʃ(ə)n/, which is the suffix we're talking about.
Suffixes are groups of letters at the end of words which can change the form or meaning of a word, or both.
And we'll tell you about the three different ways to spell the suffix 'shun'.
And we'll give you examples of words with all three spellings, plus some tips for knowing which spelling to use…
We'll have a quiz…
…and we'll finish with a top tip for learning vocabulary.
But first, let's hear a news report about the theft of a valuable statue.
While you listen, think about this question: Where was the statue from? Here’s the report.
A man was charged today following an investigation into the theft of valuable objects from the museum. The man confessed after witnesses came forward with information and his description appeared in the newspapers. In his confession,he said that he had gained admission to the museum by pretending to be a security guard. Police recovered items including a priceless Venetian vase and an Egyptian statue.
So, we asked you: Where was the statue from?
And the answer is: Egypt. It was Egyptian.
That's right. And the word Egyptian has the suffix 'shun' spelt t-i-a-n. And we usually find this spelling in adjectives that describe where something or someone comes from.
So, the stolen Egyptian statue came from Egypt…
Exactly, and the Venetian vase came from Venice.
In these examples, the suffix 'shun', spelt t-i-a-n, turns the noun into an adjective; and these adjectives are often written with a capital letter because they come from proper nouns. Now, another example is Martian - and Martians come from Mars!
I suppose they do. Let's listen to another clip with more words that end in 'shun'. See if you can spot them.
INSERT CLIP 1
A man was charged today following an investigation into the theft of valuable objects from the museum. The man confessed after witnesses came forward with information and his description appeared in the newspapers.
So we had three words ending in 'shun' - investigation, description…
Now here, the 'shun' at the end is spelt t-i-o-n.This is the most usual spelling for 'shun'.
And words with 'shun' spelt t-i-o-n are nouns. They usually come from verbs.
So the word investigation comes from the verb investigate… the word description comes from describe…
…and the word information comes from the verb inform.
There are many words with this spelling of 'shun'. We told you to pay attention at the start of the programme…
Yep and there are other words like addition, subtraction, accommodation, population…
Many, many more. So that’s words with the suffix 'shun' spelt t-i-o-n and t-i-a-n. Now let's look at the third spelling of the suffix 'shun': s-i-o-n.
And here they are in another clip.
INSERT CLIP 2
In his confession,he said thathe had gained admission to the museum by pretending to be a security guard.
So we had confession and admission.
Yes, nouns with the ending 'shun' spelt s-i-o-n are often based on words ending in double -s or -m-i-t like confession from confess...
Expression from express…
… discussion from discuss…
…admission from admit…
…and permission from permit.
You're listening to BBC Learning English.
And we're talking about the suffix 'shun'. We can spell it in three different ways…
There's t-i-a-n, as in Egyptian or Venetian. These are adjectives which indicate someone or something's origin.
Or we can spell it s-i-o-n. And these words are nouns and are often based on verbs ending in -s-s, like discussion from discuss.
…or verbs ending in -t like permission from permit.
And finally, the most common spelling t-i-o-n, as in nouns like information and ambition.
Oh, ambition, yeah. Catherine, do you have a secret ambition?
I have an ambition. It's not so secret but I would love to go to Africa on a safari. What about you, Finn?
Oh, yes, travel as well. I’d love to travel through South America one day.
I hope you get to do it.
Quite soon. Now, time for a quiz. What is the correct spelling for the ending of these words. Is it t-i-o-n, s-i-o-n, or t-i-a-n? Ready?
Number one: Egyptian…
Egyptian is t-i-a-n.
Good. Number two: permission.
And number three: attention.
Attention ends with the suffix 'shun' spelt t-i-o-n.
Fantastic. And that's the end of the quiz. Well done if you got them right.
And now, here's a top tip for learning vocabulary: to help you learn new words, try linking them into a story. Now this can really help you remember their meaning.
Top tip. And there's more about this at bbclearningenglish.com. Join us again for more 6 Minute Vocabulary.
Vocabulary points to take away
Words ending in -tion:
Words ending in -sion:
Words ending in -tian:
Are you ready for the continuation of this session? Time for some exploration of some more words with suffixes!
Words ending in -tion
Words ending in -sion
Words ending in -tian