“The Knowledge Library”

Knowledge for All, without Barriers…

An Initiative by: Kausik Chakraborty.

“The Knowledge Library”

Knowledge for All, without Barriers……….
An Initiative by: Kausik Chakraborty.

The Knowledge Library


What is a Suffix?

You find suffixes at the end of the root word, A suffix forms from a letter or group of letters. When you apply a suffix to the root word a new word emerges.

Suffix definition:

In English, a suffix is a letter/a group of letters attached to the end of a word to form a new word or to change the grammatical function (part of speech) of the original word. In other words, a suffix is a few letters put at the end of a word to change its meaning.

Sometimes to form a new word the spelling of the base word needs to change. For example, when you add the suffix -ion to the root word “create” you drop the -e at the end of the word. By removing the -e and adding -ion you beget the word creation.

A suffix is a type of affix which is attached to the root of a word, only this time, the letters are attached to the end of the word rather than the beginning.

Suffixes reveal the class of the word. Suffixes can denote whether a word is a noun. adjective or something else entirely. You can categorize suffixes based on the function they serve in a sentence. That is to say, you can use suffixes to transform words into adjectives, adverbs, nouns, and verbs.


Adjective Suffixes

  • ful (grateful, beautiful, bountiful)
  • less (hopeless, baseless, reckless)
  • able (capable, creatable, craftable)
  • ous or ious (delicious, humourous, gracious)
  • ic (stoic, heroic, iconic)
  • ‘ive (pensive, expensive, authoritative)
  • ant (poignant, extravagant, brilliant)

The ending -ful suggests being full of something while -less means without. -Able refers to things that are capable of being. In contrast. -ious or -ous suffixes suggest having qualities of the root word. Finally, -ic means related to, -ive means nature of, and -ant means being inclined to.

Adverb Suffixes

  • ly (bravely, stately, sparingly)
  • ward (backward, forward, wayward)
  • wise (pennywise, likewise, otherwise)

The adverb suffix -ly refers to how something is being done. You use the ending -ward to suggest a certain direction. Lastly, -wise references a relation to something.

Noun Suffixes

  • ion (fusion, revision, opinion)
  • ness (roughness, darkness, awareness)
  • ment (treatment, abandonment, movement)
  • ity (rarity, scarcity, equality)
  • er (writer, helper, driver)
  • eer (engineer, volunteer, profiteer)

The noun suffix -ion means action while -ness refers to a quality. -Ment reveals the result of action while -ity references a state. Use -er to show someone performing an action and -eer to show an activity being engaged in.

Verb Suffixes

  • ed (mended, jumped, coughed)
  • ing (running, drifting, smiling)
  • er (sooner, faster, quicker)
  • en (soften, moisten, fasten)
  • ize (memorize, moralize, mesmerize)

We use the verb suffix -ed to represent a past action while we use the verb suffix -ing to represent an action occurring in the present. The -er ending shows a comparison while -en reveals that something is in the process of becoming. Besides, -ize means to become or to cause something.

List of common prefixes in English with examples. 


Why Learn Suffixes

Suffixes expand our vocabularies. They provide ample ways to express our thoughts, feeling, and opinions. Without suffixes, we would not be able to transform nouns into verbs. In conclusion, without suffixes, our writings would not show the depth and variety that it currently does.

Noun Suffixes

Noun suffix meaning and examples:

Suffix -acy

  • Meaning: State or quality
  • Example: Democracy, accuracy, lunacy

Suffix -al

  • Suffix meaning: The action or process of
  • Example: Remedial, denial, trial, criminal

Suffix -ance, -ence

  • Meaning: State or quality of
  • Example: Nuisance, ambience, tolerance

Suffix -dom

  • Meaning: Place or state of being
  • Example: Freedom, stardom, boredom

Suffix -er, -or

  • Suffix meaning: Person or object that does a specified action
  • Example: Reader, creator, interpreter, inventor, collaborator, teacher

Suffix -ism

  • Meaning: Doctrine, belief
  • Example: Judaism, scepticism, escapism

Suffix -ist

  • Meaning: Person or object that does a specified action
  • Example: Geologist, protagonist, sexist, scientist, theorist, communist

Suffix -ity, -ty

  • Meaning: Quality of
  • Example: Extremity, validity, enormity

Suffix -ment

  • Meaning: Condition
  • Example: Enchantment, argument

Suffix -ness

  • Meaning: State of being
  • Example: Heaviness, highness, sickness

Suffix -ship

  • Meaning: Position held
  • Example: Friendship, hardship, internship

Suffix -sion, -tion

  • Meaning: State of being
  • Example: Position, promotion, cohesion, ambition

Verb Suffixes

Verb suffix meaning and examples:

Suffix -ate

  • Meaning: Become
  • Example: Mediate, collaborate, create

Suffix -en

  • Meaning: Become
  • Example: Sharpen, strengthen, loosen

Suffix -ify, -fy

  • Meaning: Make or become
  • Example: Justify, simplify, magnify, satisfy

Suffix -ise, -ize

  • Meaning: Become
  • Example: Publicise, synthesise, hypnotise

Adjective Suffixes

Adjective suffix definition and examples:

Suffix -able, -ible

  • Meaning: Capable of being
  • Example: Edible, fallible, incredible, audible

Suffix -al

  • Meaning: Having the form or character of
  • Example: Fiscal, thermal, herbal, colonial

Suffix -esque

  • Meaning: In a manner of or resembling
  • Example: Picturesque, burlesque, grotesque

Suffix -ful

  • Meaning: Notable for
  • Example: Handful, playful, hopeful, skilful

Suffix -ic, -ical

  • Meaning: Having the form or character of
  • Example: Psychological, hypocritical, methodical, nonsensical, musical

Suffix -ious, -ous

  • Meaning: Characterised by
  • Example: Pious, jealous, religious, ridiculous

Suffix -ish

  • Meaning: Having the quality of
  • Example: Squeamish, sheepish, childish

Suffix -ive

  • Meaning: Having the nature of
  • Example: Inquisitive, informative, attentive

Suffix -less

  • Meaning: Without
  • Example: Meaningless, hopeless, homeless

Suffix -y

  • Meaning: Characterised by
  • Example: Dainty, beauty, airy, jealousy

Adverb Suffixes

Adverb suffix meaning and examples:

Suffix -ly

  • Suffix definition: Related to or quality
  • Examples: Softly, slowly, happily, crazily, madly

Suffix -ward, -wards

  • Suffix meaning: Direction
  • Examples: Towards, afterwards, backwards, inward

Suffix -wise

  • Meaning: In relation to
  • Example: Otherwise, likewise, clockwise

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