Changing -ate verbs into adjectives

Discussion in 'English Only' started by eehsun, Jan 4, 2010.

  1. eehsun Junior Member

    Ankara, Turkey
    I've come across this adjective inextricable, and I traced back to the verb that it was derived from, which is extricate.

    And I started to wonder: why is this adjective not "inextricatable", but "inextricable" instead?

    I've also found out that the adjective form of the verb "navigate" is "navigable", not "navigatable"

    My question is, is this like a rule or something in English?
  2. Driven

    Driven Senior Member

    I don't know if there is a rule. Some words are just formed into adjectives differently. If you can't eat something it is inedible, not uneatable. I think it is more like exceptions to the rule as opposed to a separate rule. I'm not really sure so we'll have to wait for other people to respond as well!
  3. Loob

    Loob Senior Member

    English UK
    Hi eehsun

    It all depends, I think, on how the verb came into English from Latin. The words with "t" come from a Latin past participle; the words without "t" come from a Latin infinitive.

    Does that help?
  4. eehsun Junior Member

    Ankara, Turkey
    Thanks for the replies.

    Loob, It can be deduced that it is a rule then, I guess.

    I've found more examples on this.

    educate => educable
    operate => operable, inoperable

    Thanks for the responses, again..
  5. MIDAV Junior Member

    Moscow, Russia
    I'm still not sure.
    How am I supposed to know if it's manipulatable or manipulable, compensatable or compensable etc. (except for the spellchecker)?
    And I'm pretty sure that inflable (as opposed to inflatable) doesn't even exist.
    Not so sure about rotable, but I would prefer rotatable any time.
    Can anybody define a sound rule on that?

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