Spelling the endings et, ot, ate or ite

Teaching point Some words ending in -ate or -ite are easy to spell, as you can hear the vowel sound quite clearly:
date translate concentrate (long /ā/ sound)
write invite satellite (long /ī/ sound)

However, in many words, the -ate or -ite ending has the weak schwa sound. Both these endings sound the same:

Learn word endings et ot ate ite Learn word endings et ot ate ite
chocolate favourite (US: favorite)

When the sound is not clear, there is no rule to help you choose between -ate or -ite. The most common ending is -ate , but there are a few -ite words which you will need.

Learning Tip for English spelling Learn all the -ite words in the list below.
Then use -ate for any others.
To learn each -ite word:
Make a link between that word and another containing i or ite.

For example:

This is definitely the best site to fly a kite

Ingrid's favourite Italian ice-cream.

Learn word endings et ot ate ite


Learn word endings et ot ate ite Learn word endings et ot ate ite
ate as in chocolate ite as in favourite
(US favorite)
accurate
adequate
affectionate
appropriate
approximate
certificate
articulate
chocolate
climate
confederate
considerate
corporate
delegate
deliberate
delicate
desolate
desperate
duplicate
estimate

fortunate
frigate
graduate
immaculate
immediate
legitimate
literate
moderate
numerate
obstinate
passionate
pirate
private
senate
separate
syndicate
temperate
ultimate

composite
definite
exquisite
favourite
(US: favorite)
granite
hypocrite
infinite
opposite
requisite

Note:
Several words ending in -ate can be pronounced in two ways, depending on whether it is a noun, an adjective or a verb. If you are unsure about nouns, adjectives and verbs, click here for help.

Nouns or adjectives,
with the schwa sound:
/Ə/
Verbs, with the long /ā/ sound.
They sleep in separate beds. Can you separate those fighting dogs?
Please give me an estimate
for the work.
I estimate we'll land in forty minutes.
I need a duplicate copy of
the invoice.
I'll duplicate it for you.
This job is only open to graduates. She will graduate next year.
Many delegates attended the conference. I delegate the responsibility to you.

next part of the spelling course Take a test in the -ite words
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Unit 32: Spelling the endings -et -ot -ate -ite

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