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Thread: Word formation

  1. #1
    albertino is offline Senior Member
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    Default Word formation

    How do I know whether "-er" or "-or" should be added in the formation of a noun, such as acter/actor, informer/informor? Any rule could be followed?
    Thank you.

  2. #2
    Anglika is offline No Longer With Us
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    Default Re: Word formation

    Not that I know. You just have to learn them.

  3. #3
    bianca is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: Word formation

    Check out this link:

    Words ending -er, -or, and -ar

    "Verbs ending in a silent e usually change to nouns by ending -er:
    dive/diver wade/wader write/writer avenge/avenger "

    and so on...

  4. #4
    albertino is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: Word formation

    Quote Originally Posted by bianca View Post
    Check out this link:

    Words ending -er, -or, and -ar

    "Verbs ending in a silent e usually change to nouns by ending -er:
    dive/diver wade/wader write/writer avenge/avenger "

    and so on...
    What a wonderful site, thank you very much.
    But bianca, how to play this trick with words ending in -ar:
    "Mispronouncing the ending so that it rhymes with the -ar- in market is a handy memory trick."
    Last edited by albertino; 24-Jul-2007 at 02:02.

  5. #5
    BobK's Avatar
    BobK is offline Harmless drudge
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    Default Re: Word formation

    Quote Originally Posted by bianca View Post
    Check out this link:

    Words ending -er, -or, and -ar

    "Verbs ending in a silent e usually change to nouns by ending -er:
    dive/diver wade/wader write/writer avenge/avenger "

    and so on...
    Thanks for that link, bianca. I'd add another (imperfect) rule of thumb. If the root verb can stand alone (with the appropriate meaning), the ending is usually -er. An author doesn't auth but a writer writes. Like most rules, this has exceptions - for example an actor acts, and a tinker doesn't tink.

    b

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Word formation

    Quote Originally Posted by BobK View Post
    Thanks for that link, bianca. I'd add another (imperfect) rule of thumb. If the root verb can stand alone (with the appropriate meaning), the ending is usually -er. An author doesn't auth but a writer writes. Like most rules, this has exceptions - for example an actor acts, and a tinker doesn't tink.

    b
    That's very helpful!

  7. #7
    albertino is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: Word formation

    Quote Originally Posted by blouen View Post
    That's very helpful!
    Yeah, I couldn't agree more.

  8. #8
    albertino is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: Word formation

    But could I ask how to play this trick with words ending in -ar?
    "Mispronouncing the ending so that it rhymes with the -ar- in market is a handy memory trick."

  9. #9
    BobK's Avatar
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    Default Re: Word formation

    Quote Originally Posted by albertino View Post
    But could I ask how to play this trick with words ending in -ar?
    "Mispronouncing the ending so that it rhymes with the -ar- in market is a handy memory trick."
    Yes, this one confused me. I think what it is suggesting is that you remember these words as - for example - /sımı'lɑ:/. You have this mispronunciation as a mental image, although you actually pronounce the word correctly /'sımılǝ/.

    I'm not sure I agree with this trick.

    b

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