Say these words out loud: action, accommodation, decision, admission, permission, occasion, electrician, politician, station, television.

Did you notice that the endings -tion, -sion, -cian all have a 'shun' sound?

The endings sound much the same but are spelt different so it's difficult to remember which to use. Good spellers know what looks right so you just have to learn the most popular words.

Watch the video below or read on.

-tion ending is the most common and are all nouns.
action, condition, completion, relation, accommodation, addition, attention, communication, competition, condition, invitation, nation, position, protection, promotion, moderation, population, mention, solution, vocation, suggestion, station, occupation, revolution, rejection, location... 

-sion endings 

Not that many nouns have -sion endings. They are often formed from verbs which end with -d, -de, -se, -t.  
to collide - collision, to comprehend - comprehension, infuse - infusion.
persuade- persuasion, explode - explosion, televise - television...
Also pension, persuasion, occasion, suspension, decision... 

-ssion endings.
When words end in -ss just add –ion.
discuss - discussion, confess - confession, obsess - obsession, possession, expression, recession, profession, procession.
Also mission, passion, session

-mit to –ssion
admit – admission, permit – permission,
commit – commission, remit – remission
transmit – transmission, submit - submission

-cede / -ceed to -ssion
succeed – succession, proceed – procession,
concede – concession

-cian endings
There are a few nouns with -cian endings and they usually mean occupations or jobs: optician, politician, musician, beautician, dietician, electrician, technician, statistician, physician, magician...

There are only a few -tian endings and they usually mean place of origin or a belief: Martian, Dalmatian, Christian, Faustian.

Let's do a spelling test.

spelling tests

Press the link below - it will take you to the player on another page

  1. She's a ______ and is on ______.
  2. His ______ is an ______.
  3. Don't ______ the ______.
  4. The ______ for his ______ rests on the ______ he has good ______ skills.
  5. This ______ is on words ending in 'shun' and it's my ______ to help you.
  6. I have an ______ to a party at a famous ______ ______ but the ______ is by ______ only.

do a spelling test

Spelling Test Answers

  1. She's a politician and is on television.
  2. His profession is an optician.
  3. Don't mention the competition.
  4. The decision for his promotion rests on the condition he has good communication skills.
  5. This session is on words ending in 'shun' and it's my mission to help you.
  6. I have an invitation to a party at a famous musician's mansion but the admission is by invitation only.

Try my spelling quiz on -tion, -sion, or -cian click here

Hope this was useful. See you in the next lesson.


If you're interested in learning more about spelling rules check out my Spelling Rules Workbook

Spelling Rules Workbook
a step-by-step guide to the rules of English spelling
(suitable for British and American users)

American and British spelling