About the Concept:
Many multi-syllable words in the English language end with a suffix that has the sound of /shun/. The spelling of this suffix takes several different forms that we can group into four word families: the t-i-o-n family, the s-i-o-n family, the s-s-i-o-n family, and the c-i-a-n family. The most common spelling of the suffix /shun/ is t-i-o-n as in the words vacation, nation, reaction, and attraction. Other words end with the same /shun/ sound but use a different spelling of that suffix. Words such as mansion, tension, and expansion use the spelling s-i-o-n for the /shun/ sound. Words such as mission, fission, and session use the spelling s-s-i-o-n; and words such as physician, musician, and magician use the spelling c-i-a-n. Students need practice in knowing which spelling of the suffix /shun/ they should use in their writing, and the choice is not always obvious. The song Extension Tension helps students become familiar with families or groups of words that all spell the /shun/ suffix the same way. By having a bank of such examples in their heads, students are more likely to choose the correct spelling of these words in their personal writing. For example, students who have learned the song know that the words physician and optician use the c-i-a-n spelling. With this background, writers are more likely to infer the correct spelling of the suffix for the words beautician, pediatrician, or mortician. Students familiar with the family of words in the song that end in s-s-i-o-n (e.g., session, confession) will be more likely to choose the correct letters for other words in that family like impression and expression. By using the Mini-Chart templates and the instrumental track on the Sing Your Way Through Phonics CD, students can expand and build up their mental bank of words in each of the four common word families. [Note: Many s-i-o-n suffixes begin with the /zh/ sound as in the word confusion. See the song When S is Sweet as Sugar in the Sing Your Way Through Phonics Volume 3 CD for other examples of this spelling and pronunciation.]
Say these words out loud: action, accommodation, decision, admission, permission, occasion, electrician, politician, station, television.
Did you notice that the endings -tion, -sion, -cian all have a 'shun' sound?
The endings sound much the same but are spelt different so it's difficult to remember which to use. Good spellers know what looks right so you just have to learn the most popular words.
-tion ending is the most common and are all nouns.
action, condition, completion, relation, accommodation, addition, attention, communication, competition, condition, invitation, nation, position, protection, promotion, moderation, population, mention, solution, vocation, suggestion, station, occupation, revolution, rejection, location...
to collide - collision, to comprehend - comprehension, infuse - infusion.
persuade- persuasion, explode - explosion, televise - television...
Also pension, persuasion, occasion, suspension, decision...
When words end in -ss just add –ion.
discuss - discussion, confess - confession, obsess - obsession, possession, expression, recession, profession, procession.
Also mission, passion, session
-mit to –ssion
admit – admission, permit – permission,
commit – commission, remit – remission
transmit – transmission, submit - submission
-cede / -ceed to -ssion
succeed – succession, proceed – procession,
concede – concession
There are a few nouns with -cian endings and they usually mean occupations or jobs: optician, politician, musician, beautician, dietician, electrician, technician, statistician, physician, magician...
There are only a few -tian endings and they usually mean place of origin or a belief: Martian, Dalmatian, Christian, Faustian.
Let's do a spelling test.
Press the link below - it will take you to the player on another page
- She's a ______ and is on ______.
- His ______ is an ______.
- Don't ______ the ______.
- The ______ for his ______ rests on the ______ he has good ______ skills.
- This ______ is on words ending in 'shun' and it's my ______ to help you.
- I have an ______ to a party at a famous ______ ______ but the ______ is by ______ only.
Spelling Test Answers
- She's a politician and is on television.
- His profession is an optician.
- Don't mention the competition.
- The decision for his promotion rests on the condition he has good communication skills.
- This session is on words ending in 'shun' and it's my mission to help you.
- I have an invitation to a party at a famous musician's mansion but the admission is by invitation only.
Try my spelling quiz on -tion, -sion, or -cian click here
Hope this was useful. See you in the next lesson.
If you're interested in learning more about spelling rules check out my Spelling Rules Workbook
Or for newer more in-depth spelling rules lessons go to my online video course The Rules of English Spelling at curious.com -
click here to go to Curious.com/howtospell