Nouns and adverbs and verbs, oh my!
Parts of speech are the building blocks for English sentences, and studying them early on can be beneficial for English language learners. Along with common sentence patterns, learning the parts of speech (nouns, verbs, prepositions, etc.) can help students form English sentences more easily.
But how do students know which vocabulary words are nouns, verbs, etc.? This is where suffixes (word endings) come into play. Learning common word endings can help students easily guess at the part of speech of a new vocabulary term.
Parts of speech and suffixes aren't just for beginner students. This knowledge can boost students' abilities in both grammar and vocabulary at any level, and is quite useful for higher‑level students who need to decipher complex and unfamiliar words. Learning and practicing word families in context can help higher-level students with speaking and writing as well as on tests such as the TOEIC.
Try presenting the word family chart below to your intermediate- to advanced‑ level learners, and then see if they can complete the following practice exercise. Subscribers can access a printable pdf of the chart and exercise here: Advanced Word Families. See our Parts of Speech lesson for lower‑level practice.
Have students complete the sentences below with a form of the prompt word. Allow them to refer to the chart above. You may also want to have students identify the parts of speech. Note that they may have to change the word form by making a noun plural or conjugating a verb into the correct tense.
|Ex||protect||Female bears are very protective (adjective) of their young.|
|1||succeed||Practice and patience are the keys to ______ .|
|2||rely||My best friend has never let me down. I ______ on her many times in the past.|
|3||differ||I can't see what's ______ in the second version of this document.|
|4||act||______ speak louder than words.|
|5||apologize||After tripping me on my way to my desk yesterday, my coworker ______ profusely.|
|6||identify||Please show me your ______ and your insurance papers.|
|7||understand||He was ______ upset when he heard about the accident.|
|8||divide||There were so many ______ issues that they called a mediator in.|
|9||decide||Because the manager reacted ______ , the problem didn’t spiral out of control.|
|10||benefit||This document was a ______ resource for the project.|
- success (noun)
- have relied (verb)
- different (adjective)
- Actions (noun)
- apologized (verb)
- identification (noun)
- understandably (adverb)
- divisive (adjective)
- decisively (adverb)
- beneficial (adjective)