Vocabulary: Building Word Formation

English for Academic Purposes: Vocabulary

Building Vocabulary

Word formation

Formal written English uses nouns more than verbs. For example, treatment rather than treat, admiration rather than admire, judgement rather than judge, development rather than develop.

There appeared to be evidence of differential treatment of children.

This is reflected in our admiration for people who have made something of their lives, sometimes against great odds, and in our somewhat disappointed judgment of those who merely drift through life.

All airfields in the country would be nationalised, and the government would continue with the development of new aircraft as recommended by the Brabazon Committee.

Associated with nominalisation is the occurrence of prepositional phrases, introduced by of:

judgment of those

treatment of children

development of new aircraft

-tion is the most common suffix used in this way. For example: alteration, resignation.

However others are: -ity ability, similarity, complexity; -ness blindness, darkness, preparedness; -ment development, encouragement; -ship friendship; -age mileage; -ery robbery, bribery; -al arrival; -ance assistance, resemblance.

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