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Word Formation Processes

Processes of word formation-morphology
What is Word-formation?
A word is a group of letters which expresses a meaning. The process of creating words is known as Word-formation. There are various processes through which new words are created in English language. The Word Formation Processes are considered as the important component of Morphology. Word Formation Processes can be explained one by one as follows:
  • Affixation
  • Compounding
  • Blending
  • Clipping
  • Acronym
  • Conversion
  • Reduplication Compounding
is the most commonly used process of word-formation. In this process, prefix and suffix are used for forming new words.
A. Prefixation

Prefix is an element which is added before the Base Word. For example, in the word ‘preview’, ‘pre’ is a prefix and ‘view’ is the Base word. Every prefix has its own meaning and we can form many new words by adding prefixes to the words. This process of word formation is known as ‘Prefixation’.

Prefixes Examples
Ambi Ambiguity, ambivert,  ambivalent
Auto Autograph, autocorrect, autobiography
Anti Anti-social, anti-war, anti-environment
Bio Biodiversity, biography, biopic
Bi Bilingual, bimonthly, biweekly
Pro Pro-war, proactive, pro-Indian
Co Co-author, co-worker, co-wife
Counter Counter-attack, counter-argument
De Defrost, deforest, de-tan
Dis Discontinue, discontent, discomfort
Extra extra-marital, extra-curricular, extraordinary
Hyper Hypertension, hyperthyroidism
Inter Inter-college, inter-state, inter-city
Micro Micro-economics, microscope, micro-organism
Mini Mini-bus, mini-skirt, minimize
Mis Misuse, miscarriage, misspell, mispronounce
Mono Monogamy, monotone, monolingual
Non Non-cooperation, non-aided, non-qualified
Over Over-state, over-eat, over-react, over-smart
Out Outstanding, outdo, outlive
Post Post-war, Post-Covid, post-test
Pre Pre-election, pre-test, pre-war
Re Re-read, re-write, re-unite
Semi Semi-circle, semi-final, semi-English
Sub Sub-inspector, sub-type, sub-category

B. Suffixation

Suffix is an element which is added at the end of the Base Word. For example, in the word ‘wrongly’, ‘ly’ is a suffix and ‘wrong’ is the Base word. Every suffix has its own meaning and we can form many new words by adding suffixes to the words. This process of word formation is known as ‘Suffixation’.

Suffixes Examples
-able/-ible Admissible, acceptable, permissible, practicable
-al Logical, rational, seasonal
-an/-ian Musician, Indian, technician
-ant/-ent Defendant, recipient, assistant
-ance/-ence Tolerance, patience, acceptance
-ar Tabular, circular, muscular
-cide Homicide, patricide, matricide
-cy Privacy, accuracy, urgency
-ee Detainee, employee, payee
-en Earthen, wooden, lessen, blacken
-er/-or Examiner, carpenter, actor, collector
-ess Lioness, mistress, tigress
-free Tension-free, dust-free, tax-free
-ful Awful, wonderful, faithful
-gamy Monogamy, Polygamy
-hood Motherhood, boyhood, girlhood, manhood
-ic Photogenic, psychic, photographic
-ify Nullify, fortify, qualify, magnify
-ion Jurisdiction, connection, satisfaction
-ise/-ize Centralize, finalize, regularize
-ish British, blackish, Irish, yellowish
-ism Pantheism, Marxism, secularism, romanticism
-ist Pantheist, Marxist, secularist, romanticist
-ity/-ty Punctuality, regularity, honesty, amnesty
-less Shameless, jobless, reckless, clueless



is the process in which we can join two or more simple words. Words created through compounding are called compound words. Compound words can be formed in many ways.

Noun + Noun

Book + Worm Book-worm
Class + Room Class-room
Milk + Maid Milk-maid
Word + Formation Word-formation
Cricket + Match Cricket-match
Court + Yard Courtyard
Country + Man Countryman
Pencil + Box Pencil-box
Web + Designer Web-designer
Moon + Light Moonlight

Noun + Verb

Book + Review Book-review
Brain + Storm Brainstorm
Milk + Shake Milk-shake
Office + Work Office-work
Snow + Fall Snow-fall
Tooth + Ache Toothache
Sun + Set Sunset
Rain + Fall Rainfall
Day + Break Daybreak
Earth + Quake Earthquake

Noun + Gerund

Test + Driving Test-driving
Mind + Boggling Mind-boggling
Lip + Reading Lip-reading
Sight + Seeing Sight-seeing
Sky + Diving Sky-diving
Proof + Reading Proof-reading
Eve + Teasing Eve-teasing
Heart + Rending Heart-rending
Mouth + Watering Mouth-watering
Sun + Rising Sun-rising

Gerund + Noun

Skipping + Rope Skipping-rope
Swimming + Pool Swimming-pool
Reading + Room Reading-room
Writing + pad Writing-pad
Washing + Machine Washing-machine
Laying + Foundation Laying-foundation
Scorching + Sun Scorching-sun
Waiting + Room Waiting-room
Punching + Bag Punching-bag
Melting + Point Melting-point

Adverb/Preposition + Noun

On + Line Online
Out + Line Outline
Off + Line Offline
Down + Skirts Down-skirts
Out + Caste Out-caste
Down + Fall Downfall
Off + Shore Offshore
Fore + Sight Foresight
Out + Of + the Box Out-of-the Box
Out + Law Outlaw

Adjective + Noun

Political + Party Political party
Lower + House Lower-house
Noble + Soul Noble soul
Great + Mind Great mind
Busy + Bee Busy-bee
Safe + Journey Safe journey
Big + House Big house
Raw + Material Raw material
Handsome + Salary Handsome salary
Large + Amount Large amount

Verb + Noun

Play + Ground Playground
Tread + Mill Treadmill
Watch + Dog Watchdog
Kill + Joy Killjoy
Rain + Drops Rain-drops
Work + Load Workload
Care + Taker Care-taker
Watch + Man Watchman
Pick + Pocket Pickpocket
Kick + Boxer Kick-boxer

Verb + Adverb

Make + Up Make-up
Break + Up Break-up
Lock + Up Lock-up
Set + Back Setback
Draw + Back Drawback
Send + Off Send-off
Take + Off Take-off
Take + Over Take-over
Turn + Over Turn-over
Make + Over Make-over

Verb + Verb

Sleep + Talk Sleep-talk
Cross + Examine Cross-examine
Sleep + Walk Sleep-walk
Cross + Verify Cross-verify
Cross + Claim Cross-claim
Cross + Check Cross-check
Thunder + Storm Thunder-storm

Adverb + Verb

Out + Set Outset
Back + Bite Back-bite
Down + Fall Downfall
Out + Do Outdo
Out + Live Outlive



is the process in which two base words are combined, but it retains only a part of one or both words. Two words are blended and we get a new word.

Biography + Picture Biopic
Camera + Recorder Camcorder
Web + Log Blog
Documentary + Drama Docudrama
Breakfast + Lunch Brunch
Education + Entertainment Edutainment
Electronic + Mail Email
Fantastic + Fabulous Fantabulous
High + Technology Hi-tech
Information + Entertainment Infotainment
Oxford + Cambridge Oxbridge
Smoke + Fog Smog
Motor + Hotel Motel
Internet + Citizen Netizen
Medical + Care Medicare
Slang + Language Slanguage
Internet + Etiquette Netiquette
Television + Broadcast Telecast
Multiplex + Cineplex Multiplex
Internal + Communication Intercom



is the process in which there is a subtraction of one or more syllables from a word.


Base Words Clipped Words
Bridegroom Groom
University Varsity
Earthquake Quake
Telephone Phone
Internet Net


Base Words Clipped Words
Advertisement Ad
Examination Exam
Graduation Grad
Gymnasium Gym
Laboratory Lab
Memorandum Memo
Photograph Photo
Public House Pub
Gasoline Gas
Facsimile Fax

Front & Back Clipping

Base Words Clipped Words
Refrigerator Fridge
Influenza Flu
Detective Tec



is the process of word-formation in which words are created from the initial letters or some parts of the words.

PAN Permanent Account Number
RTI Right to Information
LL.B Bachelor of Legislative laws
SMS Short Messaging System
WHO World Health Organization
ICU Incentive Care Unit
ATM Automated Teller Machine
UNO United Nations Organization
SCC Supreme Court Cases



is the process in which same word can be used as different parts of speech.

Noun as well as Verb

Nouns Verbs
Oil Oil
Book Book
Link Link
Set Set
Account Account
Change Change
Help Help
Attack Attack
Powder Powder
Water Water

Adjective as well as Verb

Adjectives Verbs
Clear Clear
Dirty Dirty
Clean Clean
Open Open
Close Close
Slow Slow
Calm Calm
Cool Cool
Faint Faint


Reduplication Compounding

Reduplication Compounding
is the process in which some compound words have two or more elements that are identical or slightly different.

See saw

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