-a

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Contents

English[edit]

Etymology 1[edit]

From the homographic case endings of the nominative, accusative, and vocative forms of numerous Latin neuter second declension nouns.

Pronunciation[edit]

Suffix[edit]

-a

  1. plural form of -um
  2. plural form of -on
Usage notes[edit]
  • Because the regular pluralization in English involves adding -s or -es, English words derived from a Latin where the Latin would pluralize from -on or -um to -a do not always do so in English. Usage of -a instead of -s differs between words: sometimes the two are interchangeable (e.g. memorandums/memoranda, polyhedrons/polyhedra), sometimes one is far more common than the other (e.g. neurons over neura, automata over automatons), and sometimes one is completely absent from usage (e.g. bacteria over bacteriums, dendrons over dendra)
Derived terms[edit]
See also[edit]
Translations[edit]

Etymology 2[edit]

Possibly due to the propensity in some non-rhotic dialects to pronounce words ending in -er as if they ended in an -a.

Pronunciation[edit]

Suffix[edit]

-a

  1. (Geordie) Same as -er in Standard English.
    me fatha was a corka burna doon the shipyard — “My father was a corker burner at the shipyard.”
  2. (slang) Used to replace -er in nouns.
    gangsta — “gangster”
    brotha — “brother”
See also[edit]

Etymology 3[edit]

Representing the nominative singular case ending of Latin first-declension feminine nouns.

Pronunciation[edit]

Suffix[edit]

-a (plural -ae or )

  1. Marks singular nouns, with a foundation in Greek or Latin, often implying femininity, especially when contrasted with words terminating in -us.
Synonyms[edit]
Derived terms[edit]

Etymology 4[edit]

From Latin -a.

Pronunciation[edit]

Suffix[edit]

-a

  1. Changes an element or substance into an oxide.
    magnesia

Etymology 5[edit]

Shortened version of verb have.

Pronunciation[edit]

Suffix[edit]

-a

  1. (slang) Alternative form of -'ve.

Etymology 6[edit]

Representing Italian, Portuguese, and Spanish feminine nouns.

Pronunciation[edit]

Suffix[edit]

-a

  1. Marks nouns, with a foundation in Italian, Spanish, or Portuguese, implying femininity.

Etymology 7[edit]

Added to lines of poetry and verse to maintain metrics.

Pronunciation[edit]

Suffix[edit]

-a

  1. Added for metrical reasons to poetry and verse

Etymology 8[edit]

Shortened version of preposition of.

Pronunciation[edit]

Suffix[edit]

-a

  1. (slang) clitic form of o'

Etymology 9[edit]

Shortened version of verb to.

Pronunciation[edit]

Suffix[edit]

-a

  1. (informal) To.
    oughta

References[edit]

  • Lesley Brown (editor), The Shorter Oxford English Dictionary, 5th edition (Oxford University Press, 2003 [1933], ISBN 978-0-19-860575-7), page 1
  • Christine A. Lindberg (editor), The Oxford College Dictionary, 2nd edition (Spark Publishing, 2007 [2002], ISBN 978-1-4114-0500-4), page 1

Dutch[edit]

Suffix[edit]

-a

  1. Plural form of -um
  2. feminine form of -us

Synonyms[edit]


Esperanto[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From feminine singular adjectives (and nouns) of the Romance languages, such as French ma, Italian mia, Spanish mía, fría.

Suffix[edit]

-a

  1. Related to, in the manner of, of. (Ending for all adjectives in Esperanto.)
    belo; bela — “beauty; beautiful”
    dekstro; dekstra — “the right direction (as opposed to left); to the right”
    vero; vera — “truth; true”
  2. Belonging to, of. (Ending for all possessive pronouns in Esperanto.)
    mia — “of me, my”
    via — “of you, your”
    ilia — “of them, their”
  3. -kind of. (Ending of all correlatives of kind in Esperanto.)
    kia — “what kind of
    tia — “that kind of
    nenia — “no kind of

Derived terms[edit]


Finnish[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]

  • (in words with front vowel harmony)

Etymology 1[edit]

From Proto-Finnic *-da, from the Proto-Uralic ablative case *-ta. A variant form *-ta (whence Finnish -ta) was used after a syllable with secondary stress (suffixal gradation).

Suffix[edit]

-a (front vowel harmony variant )

  1. (case suffix) Forms the partitive case of nouns, adjectives, numbers and some pronouns.

Usage notes[edit]

  • This suffix is used after a short vowel or the plural marker -j-.

Etymology 2[edit]

From Proto-Finnic *-dak. Historically, a form of a lative suffix.

Suffix[edit]

-a (front vowel harmony variant )

  1. (verbal suffix, case suffix) Forms the short form of the first infinitive of verbs.

Usage notes[edit]

  • The first infinitive, short form, is the citation form of verbs.

See also[edit]


French[edit]

Suffix[edit]

-a

  1. Suffix indicating the third-person singular past historic of -er verbs.

Hungarian[edit]

Pronunciation[edit]

Suffix[edit]

-a

  1. his, her, its (third-person singular possessive suffix denoting singular possession)
    ház (house) → a háza (his/her/its house)

Usage notes[edit]

  • (possessive suffix): Member of the following suffix cluster:
    -a is added to back vowel words ending in a consonant
    -e is added to front vowel words ending in a consonant
    -ja is added to back vowel words ending in a consonant or a vowel. Final -a changes to -á-.
    -je is added to front vowel words ending in a consonant or a vowel. Final -e changes to -é-.

See also[edit]


Icelandic[edit]

Suffix[edit]

-a

  1. Used to form verbs from nouns.
    sparksparka — a kick → to kick
    mjólkmjólka — milk → to milk
    vonvona — hope → to hope
    ávarpávarpa — an address → to address
    ritrita — a writ → to write
    rassrassa — an ass → to spank (on the ass)
  2. Used to form adverbs from adjectives.
    illurillabadbadly

Derived terms[edit]

See also[edit]


Ido[edit]

Suffix[edit]

-a

  1. Ending for all adjectives in Ido.

Italian[edit]

Suffix[edit]

-a

  1. Used, with a stem, to form the third-person singular present tense of -are verbs.
  2. Used, with a stem, to form the second-person singular imperative of -are verbs.
  3. Used, with a stem, to form the first-person singular, second-person singular and third-person singular present subjunctive of -ere verbs, and of those -ire verbs that do not insert "isc".
  4. Used, with a stem, to form the third-person singular imperative of -ere verbs, and of those -ire verbs that do not insert "isc".

Latvian[edit]

Suffix[edit]

-a

  1. Used to derive feminine nouns from masculine nouns (like English -ess).

Synonyms[edit]

Related terms[edit]

Femine suffixes that include -a:

Derived terms[edit]


Old English[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]

Etymology 1[edit]

From Proto-Germanic *-ō.

Suffix[edit]

-a

  1. Ending forming adverbs
    hwāra (where); ġilīco (similarly)
    singala (continually, constantly), from singal (continuous)

Etymology 2[edit]

Cognate to Old High German -o.

Suffix[edit]

-a m

  1. nominative masculine n-stem ending
    nama "name"; scūa "shadow"
  2. used to form masculine agents from verbs
    hunta (hunter)
    ǣta (eater)
Declension[edit]
Descendants[edit]

Old Norse[edit]

Suffix[edit]

-a

  1. indicates negation; does not

Portuguese[edit]

Pronunciation[edit]

Etymology 1[edit]

From Old Portuguese -a, from Latin -a.

Suffix[edit]

-a f (plural -as)

  1. forms feminine nouns and adjectives
    Uruguai (Uruguay) + -auruguaia (woman from Uruguay)

Etymology 2[edit]

From Old Portuguese -a, from Latin -at.

Suffix[edit]

-a

  1. forms the third-person singular present indicative of verbs ending in -ar
    João fala português.
    John speaks Portuguese.

Etymology 3[edit]

From Old Portuguese -a, from Latin .

Suffix[edit]

-a

  1. forms the second-person singular affirmative imperative of verbs ending in -ar
    João, conta-nos o seu apelido.
    John, tell us your last name.

Etymology 4[edit]

Suffix[edit]

-a

  1. forms the first-person singular present subjunctive of verbs ending in -er and -ir
    É importante que eu coma carne.
    It is important that I eat meat.
  2. forms the third-person singular present subjunctive of verbs ending in -er and -ir
    É importante que ele coma carne.
    It is important that he eat meat.
  3. forms the third-person singular affirmative imperative of verbs ending in -er and -ir
    Ei você aí, coma carne.
    Hey you there, eat meat.
  4. forms the third-person singular negative imperative of verbs ending in -er and -ir
    Ei você aí, não coma carne.
    Hey you there, don’t eat meat.
Usage notes[edit]

The third-person imperative isn’t used with third person pronouns, it’s used with você, which is a second-person pronoun but always takes third-person conjugation.


Romanian[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]

  • -ua (used for feminine nouns ending in a stressed vowel or diphthong)

Etymology 1[edit]

From Latin illa, nominative feminine singular of ille.

Suffix[edit]

-a f

  1. (definite article) the (feminine singular, nominative and accusative)
Usage notes[edit]

This form of the definite article is used for feminine nouns in the nominative and accusative cases which end in or in an unstressed vowel:

The suffix is also used with feminine adjectives in the nominative and accusative cases to make the articulated definite form, often for emphasis, and it is used before the noun it modifies:

Related terms[edit]
  • -l (masculine/neuter singular nominative and accusative)
  • -i (masculine/neuter plural nominative and accusative)
  • -le (feminine plural nominative and accusative)
  • -lui (masculine/neuter singular genitive and dative)
  • -ei (feminine singular genitive and dative)
  • -lor (plural genitive and dative)

Etymology 2[edit]

From Latin -āre, the ending of the present active infinitive form of first conjugation verbs. Cognate with Spanish -ar, French -er, Italian -are, etc.

Suffix[edit]

-a

  1. A suffix forming infinitives of many verbs.
Related terms[edit]

See also[edit]


Serbo-Croatian[edit]

Suffix[edit]

-a (Cyrillic spelling )

  1. Suffix appended to words (usually verbal stems) to create a feminine noun, usually denoting a relation or to form a proper noun.

Spanish[edit]

Suffix[edit]

-a

  1. -ess. (Used to form feminine singular nouns.)
    señor; señora — “gentleman; lady”
    camarero; camarera — “waitor; waitress”
  2. (Used to form the feminine singular adjectives.)
    frío; fría — “cold; cold”
  3. -s. (Used to form the third-person singular (also used with usted) present indicative mood of regular -ar verbs.)
    hablar; habla — “to talk; talks”
  4. (Used to form the first and third-person singular (also used with usted) singular subjunctive mood of -er and -ir verbs, also used for the imperative mood of usted.)
    comer; aunque yo coma — “to eat; even if I ate”; salir; por favor, salga Ud. — “to leave; please leave (formal)”
  5. (Used to form the second-person singular imperative mood of -ar verbs.)
    hablar; ¡Habla! — “to talk; Talk!”

Derived terms[edit]


Swahili[edit]

Particle[edit]

-a

  1. The genitive particle; adjectival particle; of

Usage notes[edit]

  1. This particle agrees in class with the noun preceding it;
  2. When used as an adjectival particle, the particle itself is untranslated:
  1. When used as a genitive particle, the particle is sometimes untranslated:

Derived terms[edit]


Swedish[edit]

Suffix[edit]

-a

  1. (on an positive adjective) Suffix to mark that the corresponding noun is either in plural or in definite singular form
  2. Marker of definiteness for noun plurals ending in -n (fourth declension).
    läten; lätena; "sounds; the sounds"
  3. A verb-building suffix that can be added to noun or adjectives, such as disk (dishes) → diska (do the dishes) or öl (beer) → öla (to drink beer)
  4. Create a noun from a numeral, such as tre (three) → trea (a three; a bronze medalist; a three-room apartment)

Usage notes[edit]

On adjectives 
Traditionally, if the noun is in definite singular form it should not refer to a male human, if it uses the suffix -a. If it refers to such a person, the suffix should instead be -e, but one should note that this rule is not universally adhered to - in particular dialects of northern Sweden does not recognize the -e suffix at all, but use -a in all instances.

Derived terms[edit]


Turkish[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]

  • (after a vowel) -ya, -ye
  • (after a possessive, dative only) -na, -ne
  • (in words with front vowel harmony) -e

Suffix[edit]

-a (in words with back vowel harmony)

  1. Used to form the dative case.
    İstanbul’a — “to Istanbul”
    Ankara’ya — “to Ankara”
    İzmir’e — “to Izmir”
    babasına — “to his father”
  2. Used to form gerunds.
    yürüye — “by walking”

Volapük[edit]

Suffix[edit]

-a

  1. A morpheme used to mark the genitive singular of a word (such as a noun, adjective or pronoun). It is also the most common morpheme used in creating innumerable compound words, some of which can be very long (e.g., pledadinaselidöp "toy store, toy shop", tanoganilamedin "antibiotic", taglumaladälamedin "anti-depressant", natrinakarbatazüd telik "bicarbonate of soda").
    Elaf Tyrannosaurus rex älifon in taledadil, kel nu binon dil Nolüda-Meropa.
    Tyrannosaurus rex lived in an area of the earth, which is now a part of North America.
    Buks binons stumem lärnazilana (/ lärnazilanastumem / stumem lärnazilanik).
    Books are a scholar's tools.