The Complete List of
English Spelling Rules
19: -sion, -tion, or -cion
this series of lessons, you will learn useful spelling
This lesson will give you helpful guidelines to know when to use the
a free worksheet + answer key.
All three of these suffixes create nouns
. You will see them quite
The most common suffixes by far are -tion
The suffix -cion
is used very infrequently.
1. -sion with a ZH sound
Harry hates to miss his favorite television
Click Here for Step-by-Step Rules, Stories and Exercises to Practice All English Tenses
It is important to know that the first letter of the suffix -sion
can have different pronunciations. The vowels will always have a short U sound
. In some words, the s
can be pronounced
with a ZH sound
. For example, this
happens when the -sion
ending comes after a vowel.
If you hear the "ZHun" sound at the end of a word, it will have a -sion
Here are some of the most common examples with this pronunciation:
2. -sion after the letters L, N, or R
The class will go on an excursion
to a sports camp.
If the final letter of the word before the noun suffix is l
, or r
, the ending will
usually be -sion
After an r
will have the ZH
seen above. After an l
or an n
, it will have a SH sound
3. -sion for root words ending in -mit or -ss
The teacher gave the students permission
to take a break.
Finally, when the root word we add the noun suffix to ends in -ss or
-mit, we will use -sion
For these words, you will see that the root takes a final s
so that the ending
For example, the verb "permit" becomes the noun "permission
The verb "express" becomes the noun "expression
Here are some examples:
4. -tion after letters other than L, N, or R
Pauline had a question
about the new system.
ending will always have a SH sound followed by a short
"SHun." It is used after letters other than l
, or r
. This is a very
common ending for English nouns.
Here are some common nouns with a -tion
5. -tion exceptions after N or R
The telephone was a very important invention
of the 19th century.
However, there are a few words in English that have a -tion
ending after an n
should learn these exceptions.
The detective had a suspicion
about the tall woman.
There are only a few words in English that end in -cion
so you can memorize them.
So, let's review what we have learned about the noun suffixes
- The suffixes -tion
are quite common. There are only a few words in English with the -cion
- If the suffix is pronounced "ZHun," it will be spelled -sion.
However, this ending can also be pronounced "SHun."
- If the last letter before the noun suffix is l, n, or r, the
word will take -sion.
There are a few exceptions when these words will take -tion.
- The -sion
suffix is also used for root words ending in -mit or -ss. In these
cases, there will be a final s
before the suffix, meaning that the word will end in -ssion.
- After letters other than l, n, or r, the -tion
suffix is used. It is always pronounced "SHun."
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