Did you know that there are 4000 words in the English language that end with the suffix -ate: nouns, adjectives and verbs?! AND did you know that the final -ate sound can be pronounced in two different ways? Before we discuss how to pronounce words that end in -ate, what does -ate actually mean when used as a suffix?
The meaning of -ate
When forming adjectives:
- possessing; having the appearance or characteristics of, full of:
- examples: fortunate, passionate, considerate.
When forming nouns:
- a group of people: electorate
- an area ruled by: caliphate
- office, institution: magistrate, consulate
- a chemical compound: carbonate, acetate
When forming some verbs:
- “cause to become (like); act as:
- Example 1: regular + -ate → regulate (= make regular, act by rule)
- Example 2: active + -ate → activate (= cause to become active)
The 2 pronunciations of -ate
Now that you have an idea of how the -ate suffix affects the meaning of a word, let’s consider how to pronounce words that end in -ate. Easy, -ate sounds like the number eight, right? Well, that’s only half right. The pronunciation of -ate will depend on the word’s part of speech, whether it’s an adjective, noun or verb.
Here are 2 pronunciation rules to keep in mind when practicing the words below:
- Typically the –ate in verbs is pronounced as ‘8.’
- The –ate in nouns or adjectives, however, is pronounced as ‘it’
Nouns: Adjectives: Verbs:
advocate elaborate elaborate
affiliate fortunate affiliate
aggregate articulate articulate
certificate desperate captivate
electorate ultimate animate
Keeping in mind the rules for how to pronounce words that end in -ate, take a look at the following sentence and try to figure out how to read it properly.
The ideal candidate should have adequate experience, be a graduate from an accredited business program, be able to cooperate with others and demonstrate excellent negotiating skills.
To learn more about patterns of syllable stress and vowel sounds in words with the same suffix, check out these articles
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