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Words Ending In -ary, -ory, And -ery

It can be difficult to know which of these endings is correct. Here are a few general tips:

Words ending in -ary

Words ending in-arycan be nouns (e.g.

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boundary, anniversary), adjectives (e.g.ordinary, customary), or both (e.g.contemporary, subsidiary).If the part of the word before the ending isn"t a recognizable English word in itself, then it"s often (but not always!) the case that the ending will be-ary(e.g.vocabulary, library).

Here are some common words that end in -ary:

arbitrary; disciplinary; dictionary; solitary; extraordinary; adversary; secretary; stationary; necessary; beneficiary; summary; temporary; commentary; voluntary; imaginary; honorary; visionary; complimentary; reactionary; intermediary; secondary; itinerary.

Words ending in -ory

Words ending in-orycan be nouns (e.g.category, lavatory) or adjectives (e.g.derogatory, satisfactory).They"re sometimes related to nouns ending in-or. For example:contributory(fromcontributor) andrectory(fromrector).Many words ending in-oryare related to English words ending in-ion. For example:introductory(fromintroduction) andpreparatory(frompreparation).

Here are some common words that end in -ory:

accessory; derisory; promontory; advisory; inventory; laboratory; depository; inflammatory; directory; conservatory; mandatory; sensory; contradictory; explanatory; memory; factory; territory; history; victory; predatory; theory.

Words ending in -ery

Words ending in-eryare nearly always nouns and they"re often related to words ending in-er. For example:brewery(frombrewer) andmachinery(frommachine).As well as nouns, there are some adjectives that end in-ery, and they are also mostly based on words that end in-er(e.g.blustery,shivery).If the part of the word before the ending is a recognizable English word in itself, then it"s often (but not always!) the case that the ending will be-ery.For example:mockery (frommock)andtrickery (fromtrick).This is also true when the base word ends in anethat"s dropped before the-ery ending is added (e.g.brave; bravery orforge; forgery)or where it ends in a consonant that"s doubled when the ending is added (e.g.distil; distillery orrob; robbery).

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Here are some common words ending in -ery:

gallery; nursery; cemetery; slippery; jewellery; feathery; crockery; lottery; celery; pottery; recovery; cutlery; bakery; delivery; discovery; artery; scenery; battery; misery; flattery; stationery; surgery; monastery; snobbery; mystery.