English Topic 30 - Diminutives

The knowledge and use of diminutives can be tested in 11+ exams

Diminutives create smaller or shortened things (nouns) in English grammar.


1) Some diminutives are the actual names of things in their smaller state:

e.g. book/booklet, bus/minibus, skirt/miniskirt, drop/droplet, hill/hillock, kitchen/kitchenette

2) Names can be made into diminutives which are used in informal settings or to show affection:

e.g. Samantha/Sam, Jonathan/Jon, Elizabeth/Liz, Nicolas/Nick

3) There are many names of used for young animals which are diminutives too:

e.g. a foal is a young horse, a calf is a young cow, a gosling is a young goose, a chick is a young hen, a kitten is a young cat, a cub is a young box or beaver, a duckling is a young duck.

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