French Augmentative

The augmentative is a word that has been modified in some way to convey a greater degree of its basic meaning: the large size, greatness, or greater intensity of something. The opposite of an augmentative is a diminutive.

Unlike in most Romance languages, augmentative endings (suffixes) are very rare in French. Instead, French typically indicates the greater degree of something with adjectives.

For example

  • une maison (house) --> une grande maison (big house)
  • un homme (man) --> un grand homme (great man)

French also uses some prefixes that could be considered "augmentative prefixes":

  • ordinateur (computer) --> superordinateur (supercomputer)
  • marché (market) --> supermarché (supermarket), hypermarché (hypermarket)
  • humain (human) --> surhumain (superhuman)
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