The ATE Rule (Major)

This Rule applies to those words in English with two or more syllables that end with the letters


To translate them into Spanish, we will substitute the ending with.

Keep in mind that we are looking for word endings. The English verb ATE (past-tense of EAT) does not apply, nor do other single-syllable words such as MATE.
As an example, the English verb Create, is the Spanish verb Crear. We need verbs to create sentences, so here are some Examples

(A reminder: pronounce the Spanish vowels correctly!)

The ATE Rule

English Spanish Helpful Reminders
Articulate Articular
Ambulate Ambular
Beneficiate Beneficiar
Biannulate Bianular only 1 N
Capitulate Capitular
Congregate Congregar
Conjugate Conjugar quirk #2
Contemplate Contemplar
Corrugate Corrugar
Defoliate Defoliar
Delegate Delegar
Donate Donar
Elevate Elevar
Emmulate Emular only 1 M
Extricate Extricar
Fabricate Fabricar
Fluctuate Fluctuar
Formulate Formular
Germinate Germinar G pron. like H, quirk #12
Graduate Graduar G as in English, quirk #12
Habituate Habituar quirk #1
Hallucinate Alucinar
Illuminate Iluminar only 1 L
Imitate Imitar
Initiate Iniciar C for T
Innovate Inovar only 1 N
Jubilate Jubilar quirk #2
Jugulate Jugular quirk #2
Lacerate Lacerar quirk #8
Lactate Lactar
Manipulate Manipular
Masticate Masticar
Meditate Meditar
Modulate Modular
Navigate Navegar note different spelling
Necessitate Necesitar only 1 S
Obligate Obligar
Obviate Obviar
Participate Participar
Precipitate Precipitar
Quadruplicate Cuadruplicar quirk #8
Quintuplicate Quintuplicar quirk #7
Radiate Radiar
Reciprocate Reciprocar
Segregate Segregar
Simulate Simular
Situate Situar
Terminate Terminar
Tolerate Tolerar
Ulcerate Ulcerar
Ultimate Ultimar
Validate Validar
Variate Variar

If you have an average command of English, you have just learned another thousand or so words in Spanish!

Now the bad news:
One notable exeption to this rule is the verb Congratulate. Although Congratular is grammatically correct it is, sadly, in disuse. The accepted, popular translation is Felicitar. Congratulation, therefore, is Felicitación! [see ...tion Rule]. The plural, Congratulations (as we learned in the last Chapter) is Felicitaciones!

Each time you learn a Rule, think of a few words in English with that ending and translate them into Spanish applying what you have just learned. Say them out loud, and check your pronunciation against what you learned in Chapter One, particularly with regard to the pronunciation of the vowels. It might be confusing, at first, to remember that the "i" is pronounced "ee", or that the "u" is pronounced "oo". Take heart in the fact that the vowels are always pronounced the same way in Spanish! The "[Helpful Reminders]" along the word listings mostly refer to the Quirks in Chapter One, and also remind you that, with the exception of the "ll", "rr" and "cc", there are no double-consonants in Spanish!