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Unit 27: Spelling the endings -able and -ible

Page 8 of 11

Unit 27: Word endings: -able, -ible

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Page 8 of 11

Adding the suffixes -able and -ible: do the root words change?

The suffixes -able and -ible, change verbs to adjectives:

Love Loveable I love that cat. He is loveable.
Digest Digestible I digest my food. It is digestible.

Teaching point 1. Usually, if the root word ends in e, you can drop the e because -able and -ible provide the vowel:
excuse + able = excusable
sense + ible = sensible

2. If -able is added to a word ending -ce or -ge, keep the e otherwise the c and the g take on their hard sounds:

notice + able = noticeable
change + able = changeable

3. Often, when applying -able, and we can hear a full root word, the root word stays the same:

depend + able – dependable
understand + able = understandable
enjoy + able = enjoyable

4. If the syllable before the suffix is stressed, and you can hear a clear short vowel sound in that syllable, you may need to double the final consonant of the root word:

forget + able = forgettable
admit + ible = admissible

5. If the root word ends in y, you may have to change it to an i before adding the suffix:

rely + able = reliable

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Test yourself on the suffix rules for -able and -ible.

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