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Words ending in -ion

In my legal-writing class last Thursday night, we were discussing "nominalizations": verbs converted into nouns by adding a suffix. For example, assume becomes assumption; decide becomes decision. The problem arises when we try to convert these nouns back into verbs, not by stripping the suffix, but by adding more words. Thus, instead of writing assume, we write make an assumption; instead of writing decide, we write make a decision as to. The lesson was to try to write with the base verbs: don't write "The court made a decision as to the case," when you can write, "The court decided the case."

Anyway, to make my point, I boldly stated that every English-language word ending in -tion or -sion contains a base verb. My students quickly pointed out several words ending in -tion that, at first glance, don't appear to have a verb base: section, lotion, notion, and potion.

Back at the office, I consulted OED Online, and found that all I was right after all -- it's just that the base verbs are Latin, not English. What's more, all four words can serve as either a noun or a verb.

The verb section means to divide into sections, or to cut through so as to present a section. The noun section is based on the Latin verb secare (to cut).

The verb lotion means to treat with lotions. The noun lotion is based on the Latin word lotio (the act of washing) and the Latin verb lavere (to wash).

Notion too is both a noun and a verb. The verb notion means to divide into several categories or sections, or to conceive, imagine, or envisage. The noun notion comes from the Latin words notio and noscere. (The dictionary doesn't say what noscere means, but I'm sure it's a verb.) The noun notion shares its etymology with the English verbs note and notify.

The verb potion means to treat or dose with potions, or to drug. The noun potion comes from the Latin potio (a drink) and potare (to drink).

I doubt that the verbs section, lotion, notion, and potion prove the point I tried to make in class. Those verbs seem to spring from nouns, rather than the nouns being built on the verbs. But the Latin base verbs do prove my point, although with a qualification. I still know of no English-language word ending in -tion that isn't built on a verb. It's just that somewhere in the language's evolution, the verb form may have gotten lost.

Comments

Becky

I was wondering if you could tell me words that end in -gry? please email me if you get to that. Thanks!!

Ray

Try plugging this in your browser:
http://www.onelook.com/?w=*gry&ls=a

kayleigh jade kirby

what does zion, yodization, battalion, cesteration, workstation mean

laura

i need a verb ending in tion!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Ray

That's going to be difficult, because tion is a suffix tacked on to the end of a verb to convert it into a noun. But some nouns ending in tion also work as verbs; on example is lotion. That being said, you might try this link.

max

i got a challenge for u here can u name a word that end in ion that is not a noun remeber a noun can be concrete or abstract to

Vanessa

"I still know of no English-language word ending in -tion that isn't built on a verb."


How about caution, tuition, petition, function, portion?

Ray

Vanessa, thanks for an excellent comment. You sent me digging in the dictionaries (OED on line and American Heritage). Here's what I found:

Caution is both a noun and a verb. It's based on the Latin verb cavere, meaning to take care.

Tuition, too, is based on a Latin verb, tueri, meaning to protect. But there's no English verb hiding in tuition, so I have to agree that we can't classify it as a nominalization.

Petition, like caution, is both a noun and a verb. It's based on the Latin verb petere, meaning to request. Petition can be a nominalization, e.g., "The plaintiff filed a petition seeking ..."; translates to, "The plaintiff petitioned the court to ..."

Portion, like caution and petition, is both a noun and a verb. The verb portion has the same meaning as apportion. Unlike the other three, no Latin root verb that I can find.

In sum: I must admit that not every word ending in tion is a nominalization. And though most —tion words have a root verb (Latin, if not English), portion doesn't.

Ultimately, the point isn't to convert all —tion nouns into verbs. The point is that we should examine those words to see whether a verb is hiding there — a verb that expresses the action of the sentence. If so, then we should try editing the sentence to uncover the hidden verb to see whether that states the idea more plainly.

Roy Jacobsen

The *real* lesson here is simple: Never make absolute statements.

Wait a minute....

Eleni

can u give me 6 wrds that end in tion??? pleaseeeeeeeeeeeeee i will roll over. i will screem and cry like a little baby if u dont!!

Begoña

Thanks for all this information. What about the words that finish in -sion? Like vision, permission, confusion, tension.....
How can I explain to my class (third grade) the difference between the words ending in -tion and -sion? How can they recognize the sound to write down in the correct way?
Thanks

Begoña

Six words end in -tion: combination, action, motion, nation, section, attention, production, quotation, sansation, collection, prevention, construction, rcommendattion, situation, preparation, intention,repetition, attention.........

Bego

Excuseme, two mistakes: sensation and recommedation..............

Nate

hi Ray,
Thank you very much for this. I'm working on something for my school where the role of nominalizations (a term I didn't know before) in argument is relevant. This is really helpful.
Best regards,
Nate

zack archer

what is a word that ends in ion and isnt a noun

heins

i need a word that rimes with season's

heins

i need a word that rimes with ground

Kevin Reid

The verb 'to mention' has the -tion ending Laura. (No idea how to classify it with regard to nominalization though Zack.)

Also you can use some nouns as verbs i.e. 'to question'.

What about the noun 'station' - are you sure it's a nominalization?
(please don't say its from 'to stay'!!)

Ray Ward

According to Webster’s, the verb root is the Latin stare, meaning to stand. The Latin nominalization is station-, statio

Station can also be a verb, as in “he was stationed at Fort Polk.” There are probably many other nouns ending in –tion that can function as verbs. As Bryan Garner notes, “English has long been noted for its ability to allow wors to change parts of speech.” A Dictionary of Modern Legal Usage 602 (2d ed. 1995).

romeo

how do u make sentences that have words that end with "ion". FOr instance the word compulsion.. is there a cheating way to make sentences that have ion words in em?

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