-age Suffix

French suffix -age
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You can’t stick posters on this wall, but you can stick the suffix –age onto a verb to make a noun.
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Le suffixe -age

The French suffix -age is added to verbs or nouns to make new nouns, which are always masculine.*

1) Verb + -age

For verbs, the addition of the suffix –age indicates the purpose, action, or result of that verb, and the new noun is almost always equivalent to an English gerund.

To add –age to a verb, take the present participle and drop the –ant ending to find the stem (racine), then add the suffix. For most verbs, this is the same as if you just dropped the infinitive ending.

Par exemple…

Infinitif English Racine   Français English
afficher to post, display affich-   affichage posting, display(ing)
brosser to brush bross-   brossage brushing
emballer to pack emball-   emballage packing
raser to shave ras-   rasage shaving

However, for regular -ir verbs, there’s an extra syllable: –iss

Infinitif English Racine   Français English
blanchir to bleach blanchiss-   blanchissage laundering
nourrir to feed nourriss-   nourrissage feeding
remplir to fill rempliss-   remplissage filling

2) Noun or adjective + -age

Less commonly, -age is added to nouns to indicate either a group of that noun or some enhancement to it. Note that the final letter of the noun may be doubled.

Nom English   Français English
échafaud scaffold   échafaudage scaffolding
rayon shelf   rayonnage shelving, set of shelves
seuil threshold   seuillage thresholding

 * Attention : French nouns with the suffix -age are always masculine – see Masculine noun endings. However, there are a few words, like page and image, that end in the letters (not the suffix) age and are feminine.

Want more?

For a complete list of French words that end in –age, try the amazing Recherche par critères feature of Le Petit Robert:

Petit Robert

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-age French suffix

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