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16.9: The Suffix -age

Difficulty Level: At Grade Created by: CK-12
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1. You have seen that normally after stressed long vowels and consonants [j] is spelled <g> and after stressed short vowels it is spelled <dg>. Usually after an unstressed vowel [j] is spelled <g>. And very often it is in the suffix -age, which forms nouns, usually (but not always) from verbs:

pack + age = package

Verb + age = Noun

Combine the following stems and suffixes to form nouns. Show any changes:

Stem + Suffix = Noun
pac + age = package
drain + age = drainage
break + age = breakage
wreck + age = wreckage
pass + age = passage
carry + i + age = carriage
store + age = storage
dose + age = dosage
percent + age = percentage

2. Try some the other way around. Notice that not all the stems in this group are verbs:

Noun = Stem + Suffix
package = pack + age
carriage = carry+ i + age
luggage = lug + g + age
percentage = percent + age
dosage = dose + age
bandage = band + age
roughage = rough + age
yardage = yard + age
postage = post + age
storage = store + age
passage = pass + age
baggage = bag + g + age

3. The suffix -age is often added to bound stems. Add -age to each of the following bound stems to form a noun:

Bound Stem Noun: Bound Stem +age
advant advantage
aver average
dam damage
encour encourage
foli foliage
langu language
mess message
sav savage
vill village
voy voyage

Teaching Notes.

Notice that in the suffix -age the letter <a> spells an unstressed short <i>.

Item 1. The one stem in the table that is not a verb is percent, though all of them also have noun meanings as well as verb meanings. Most monosyllabic English verbs can also function as nouns.

Item 3. There is no twinning in words like damage and savage because the twinning rule only applies to free stems, and dam and sav are not free stems; they are bound. The bound base dam is not related to either of the free bases dam. The first dam refers to a barrier to hold back water and is not related to the second, which refers to the mother of four-footed animals. Actually, the bound base dam is more closely related to the mild oath damn, since both descend from the Latin damnum “damage, loss, hurt.” The bound base sav has the root meaning “of the woods, wild” and is related to our word sylvan.

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Date Created:
Feb 23, 2012
Last Modified:
Jul 07, 2015
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