Language and Linguistics

Augmentative examples characteristics and types


The augmentative is an ending added to a word (affix) to denote an increase or exaggeration of the volume or quality of a subject or object. In general, augmentatives are added to nouns by using suffixes that give them greater importance. Augmentative characteristics types examples

These modifications usually have a subjective tone. That is, the intensity of the augmentative depends on the subject that applies it and the context in which it is found. It can be appreciated then how words with affixes of greatness such as “good-natured” in certain places and circumstances mean “good person” and in others “naive” or “confident”.

Characteristics of the augmentative

Although there is not a wide variety of this type of suffixes, there is no consensus or general criterion of the ways in which it is used to assign an augmentative value to certain words.

Generally, the augmentative styles of a word are imposed by the use of speech itself rather than a grammatical rule: some use “great game” and few use “partidón”. It depends on the personal use of the words.

Although as in everything, there is an exception to the consensus rule and that is that in some cases it has come to create its own lexicon in some words. As an example of the above is that we can find words in the dictionary such as “blackboard” and “blackboard”.

Another way of giving an augmentative use to some words is when specific adjectives are used to give an intensity to the word and sentence itself. For example “big” used as “big”.


Augmentatives ending in “–ón” are almost always masculine, also when the base word is feminine in origin. The only exception to this rule is when augmentatives are applied to a person. Examples:

– The cup> bowl.

– The table> inn.

– The house> mansion.

– The blackboard> blackboard.

2-Subjective character

Augmentatives in Spanish are used in a very liberal way. In fact, today the correct use of augmentatives is a very subjective matter. Although its best uses are linked to the increase of a (positive) quality, in many Spanish-speaking sites the use of augmentatives becomes a confusing question. Augmentative characteristics types examples

Even the augmentatives used to accentuate vulgar or mocking intentions, as well as feelings of dislike, ridicule or ugliness , are not strange . And all this is subject in turn to individual, group and contextual appraisals. Hence, this resource is not so easy to organize for scholars in the field .

3-The context determines the intention of the augmentative suffix

Much of the complexity of the Spanish language comes from the variety of meanings that can be obtained from the same term placed in different contexts. What’s more, a complete sentence – copied identically – can have radically opposite intentions just by changing the intonation.

For example, the word “big” is used in sports like basketball or soccer to describe a person of great stature and impressive physical condition. Instead, his double-meaning points to a clumsy, slow, and — in a rather dismissive tone — goofy guy.


Compared to diminutives, augmentatives are observed to a lesser extent within the Spanish language. However, the rules for its formation are simpler. Sometimes augmentatives are derived from compound words, with slightly different meanings caused by changes or omission of one or two letters.

For example, the word “chubby” can define a fat person, “very bloated.” While “chubby” is associated with someone fat, “with loose meat”. The same occurs with “corpachón”, referring to a body of enormous dimensions, and “corpanchón”, specific to a very wide body.

Examples of sentences with augmentatives

  1. Julian goes out to dinner every Thursday with his friends.
  2. You can see that Carlos was hungry: he ate a plate of noodles.
  3. The worker goes here and there with his cart.
  4. José Luis is still the same bore.
  5. A novel on of sixty chapters was written.
  6. My girlfriend slammed the door.
  7. The announcer has a booming voice.
  8. The boy learned to swear from a very young age.
  9. That cloud discourages me from going out.
  10. Roberto’s rich man invited us to dinner. Augmentative characteristics types examples

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Check Also
Back to top button