I want to make a word ‘eatable,’ but the problem is I cannot make ‘eatenable.’ Does it mean just ‘-able’ can cover from a passive form to an active form?


As you see the definition in the site, ‘eatable’ can mean ‘able to be eaten,’ but it’s an active voice. How does it mean ‘able to be eaten,’ not ‘able to eat something’?

  • What do you mean by 'Does it mean just ‘-able’ can cover from a passive form to an active form to any forms?'? .... As i explained in my previous answer, the suffix -able can only be attached to the infinitive form ('eat').
    – Void
    Commented Mar 7, 2021 at 18:31
  • For example, can -able mean ‘able to do something,’ ‘able to be done’ and ‘able to do something in the future/past’?
    – user131090
    Commented Mar 7, 2021 at 18:33
  • Can you edit your question and explain what context you'd use 'eatenable' and 'ateable' in? Also include the research you have done. (X-able means able to be X'ed.)
    – Void
    Commented Mar 7, 2021 at 18:34

2 Answers 2


-able usually has a passive sense ("able to be XXX-ed"), but not always.

Wiktionary gives five different meanings for the suffix; but note that "able to XXX" is not one of them.

I think only the passive meanings (1,4,5) are productive, though.


I think you might be looking for the word edible (something is edible if it is not poisonous to eat). E.g. those are edible rocks as they are made of chocolate. Alternatively something is inedible if it cannot be eaten or is not fit to eat e.g. the cooking here is inedible it tastes horrible.

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