From Teflpedia

-tion (/ʃən/), also sometimes spelt -sion and -cion, is a noun suffix found in English and related languages.[1]

Common words include the nouns "nation", "ration", "action".


  • After -scribe-, the B changes to a P. e.g. subscribe -> subscription.

Many -tion words can take the adjective suffix -al, e.g. "rational"; these may also the adverb suffix -ly, e.g. "rationally".

Many can also take the adjective suffix -ary, e.g. cautionary, revolutionary, missionary, and the adverb suffix -ly makes -arily e.g. "evolutionarily".


Traditionally, this would have been pronounced as two syllables, but in modern English it's pronounced as one. Despite this, the syllable stress still follows the same pattern where what was the antepenultimate syllable is stressed. So, in a straightforward noun ending -tion the syllable stress falls on the syllable before -tion. -tion is therefore itself always an unstressed syllable. In a trisyllabic word, the syllable two previous is therefore an unstressed syllable. This continues to hold true for adjectives and adverbs containing -tion.

Syllable number Stress pattern Example(s)
Bisyllabic Oo action
Trisyllabic oOo pollution
Tetrasyllabic OoOo revolution
Pentasyllabic oOoOo pronunciation
Hexasyllabic OoOoOo capitalisation

Words that don't include this morpheme but are spelt -tion[edit]

Sometimes the spelling "tion" can be found in words that do not contain this morpheme, especially cation (/ˌkætˈaɪən/)[2] not */ˈkeɪʃən/.