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Does learning English bring you enjoyment and excitement? Learn a few suffixes to boost your vocabulary!

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6 Minute Vocabulary

Suffixes: -ment, -ance, -ence

Words like excitement, performance and difference have suffixes that turn verbs and adjectives into nouns. Listen to Finn and Catherine talk about the suffixes -ment, -ence and -ance in this 6 Minute Vocabulary.

문서 읽고 엑티비티를 하세요

스크립트 보기 스크립트 숨기기

Catherine    
Hello and welcome to 6 Minute Vocabulary. I’m Catherine…

Finn
And I’m Finn. Today we’re talking about suffixes.

Catherine
A suffix is a group of letters at the end of a word, which can tell you what kind of word it is. In today’s programme we’re looking at -ment, spelt m-e-n-t, -ance spelt a-n-c-e, and -ence, spelt e-n-c-e.

Finn
The last two sound quite similar, don't they?

Catherine
They do.

Finn
-ance and -ence. But first, let’s hear from Tania. She loves to dance. She’s talking about her recent visit to the ballet.

Catherine
That's right. While you listen, think about this question: Did Tania enjoy the ballet in the end?

INSERT
There was huge excitement in the audience. This was the Bolshoi’s only performance of Swan Lake in London. But at half past seven a man appeared and made an announcement. He thanked us for our patience and then said that the lead dancer was ill and couldn’t perform. In the silence that followed, you could feel everyone’s disappointment. But the replacement dancer was wonderful. She wasn’t too confident to start with, but her confidence grew and, in the end, the lead dancer’s absence didn’t lessen my enjoyment at all.

Catherine
So we asked you: Did Tania enjoy the ballet in the end?

Finn
And the answer was: Yes, she did. The lead dancer’s absence didn’t lessen her enjoyment.

Catherine
And absence and enjoyment are two key words in this programme. The noun absence with the suffix -ence, spelt e-n-c-e, means someone or something not being there. It comes from the adjective absent.

Finn
…and the noun enjoyment with the suffix -ment comes from the verb enjoy.

Catherine
Let’s listen to a clip with more words with -ment and -ence, spelt e-n-c-e.

INSERT CLIP 1
In the silence that followed, you could feel everyone’s disappointment. But the replacement dancer was wonderful. She wasn’t too confident to start with, but her confidence grew.

Finn
So we had two nouns with the suffix -ence,spelt e-n-c-e: silence and confidence. The noun silence comes from the adjective silent,meaning complete quiet.

Catherine
…and the noun confidence, which comes from the adjective confident, means having belief in your own abilities.

Finn
Notice that both adjectives end in the letter t, which changes to a letter c in the suffix -ence.

Catherine
So silent becomes sil-ence

Finn
…and confident becomes confid-ence.

Catherine
Other common adjectives ending in the letter t that add e-n-c-e are: independent and different

Finn
…which become independence and difference.

Catherine
In the clip, we also heard two more words with the suffix -ment.

Finn
Yes, we heard disappointment, which comes from the verb disappoint, meaning a feeling of being unhappy because you have been let down.

Catherine
…and replacement, which comes from the verb replace and means a thing or person which takes the place of something or someone else.

Finn
Now, let’s hear another clip. Listen out for two words with the suffixes -ance with an a and -ence with an e.

INSERT CLIP 2
There was huge excitement in the audience. This was the Bolshoi’s only performance of Swan Lake in London. But at half past seven a man appeared and made an announcement. He thanked us for our patience and then said that the lead dancer was ill and couldn’t perform.

Finn
So we had the noun performance, spelt a-n-c-e at the end, which comes from the verb perform.

Catherine
And we had patience, spelt e-n-c-e at the end, from the adjective patient.

Finn
Did you spot the two words with the suffix –ment? Excitement from the verb excite

Catherine
…and announcement from the verb announce.

IDENT          
BBC Learning English dot com.

Catherine
Now, time for a quiz. And ready for number one? Is the word silence spelt a) s-i-l-e-n-c-e or b) s-i-l-a-n-c-e?

Finn
It’s a) s-i-l-e-n-c-e.

Catherine
Very good. Number two: What’s the noun that comes from the verb replace?

Finn
It's replacement.

Catherine
And, number three: Complete this sentence: Maria lacks a) confident or b) confidence?

Finn
It's b) confidence. And that’s the end of the quiz. Well done if you got them all right.

Catherine
And now, here’s today’s top tip for learning vocabulary: choose a word and then think of all the different forms of that word, so think of a noun, adjective and verb all with the same root.

Finn
There’s more about this at bbclearningenglish.com. Join us again for more 6 Minute Vocabulary.

Both              
Bye!

Downloads

You can download 6 Minute Vocabulary from our Unit 14 Downloads page. Remember, you can also subscribe to the podcast version.

Vocabulary points to take away

Nouns ending in –ment:

enjoyment
process of feeling pleasure in something
Don’t tell me the ending! That will spoil my enjoyment of the film.

replacement
someone or something that takes the place or does the job of another
Our new TV didn’t work so they sent a replacement.

Other nouns ending in –ment:

announcement
disappointment
excitement

Nouns ending in –ence:

absence
the state of not being there
There has been high staff absence this last week due to flu.

confidence
the belief in your own or someone else’s abilities
I have complete confidence that you will do a great job.

independence
the state of being free of control by someone or something else
Teenagers like to have jobs so they can have some financial independence from their parents.

patience
the ability to wait or do something for a long time without getting annoyed
My parents have a lot of patience. They don’t mind queuing for hours to get tickets to their favourite shows.

Other nouns ending in –ence:

difference
silence

Nouns ending in –ance:

performance
guidance
insurance
assistance
dominance

Next

Let's practise some of these words and suffixes as we read a story about a singer called Sayla. Feeling confident? Join us in the next activity!

이번 세션 문법

Session Vocabulary

  • Nouns ending in –ment:

    • enjoyment
    • replacement
    • announcement
    • disappointment
    • excitement

    Nouns ending in –ence:

    • absence
    • confidence
    • independence
    • patience
    • difference
    • silence

    Nouns ending in –ance:

    • performance
    • guidance
    • insurance
    • assistance
    • dominance