Common Suffixes in English (With Meaning and Examples)

Learn 30+ common suffixes in English with meanings and examples.

A suffix is an ending word part that gives additional meaning to a root or base word. A word may contain more than one suffix.

A suffix is a letter or group of letters placed at the end of a word to change its grammatical function, tense, or meaning. Suffixes can be used to create a verb from a noun or adjective or an adjective from a verb, for example. They can change a word’s tense as well; “-ed” can make a present-tense verb into a past participle, for instance. They can even change a word’s meaning; the suffix “-ette,” for example, can make a word into its diminutive: “kitchen” into “kitchenette.”

Just as recognizing a small number of prefixes can help you figure out many unfamiliar words, so knowing a few common suffixes can help you build a more powerful vocabulary.

Common Suffixes

What Are Suffixes?

A suffix is a linguistic unit that is added to the end of a word to change its meaning, form, or grammatical function. In English, suffixes are commonly used to indicate tense, plural nouns, comparative adjectives, and past participles, among others. For example, the suffix “-ed” can be added to verbs to indicate the past tense (e.g. “talk” becomes “talked”), while the suffix “-s” can be added to nouns to indicate the plural form (e.g. “dog” becomes “dogs”). The use of suffixes in English is a fundamental aspect of word formation and helps to create new words and to modify the meaning of existing words.

Purpose of Suffixes in Forming New Words

The purpose of suffixes in forming new words is to change or extend the meaning of an existing word or root word. Suffixes can indicate tense, plural nouns, comparative adjectives, and past participles, among others. By adding suffixes, words can take on new meanings, such as the transformation of a noun into an adjective (e.g. “child” becomes “childish”), or the creation of a verb from a noun (e.g. “teach” from “teacher”). Suffixes also play an important role in creating new words in English, such as medical terms, scientific terminology, and technical jargon. The use of suffixes is therefore a fundamental aspect of word formation and helps to create new words and to modify the meaning of existing words.

List of Common Suffixes

Common Suffixes in English

Here is a list of common suffixes in English with a brief explanation of their meaning:

  • -able: capable of being, fit for
  • -ful: having, full of
  • -ly: in a manner of, like
  • -ment: action or process, result
  • -ness: quality of, condition of
  • -ish: tending to, resembling
  • -less: without, free from
  • -ism: practice of, doctrine of
  • -ist: person who, follower of
  • -ity: quality of, condition of
  • -y: full of, tending to
  • -en: make, become
  • -ive: having a tendency to, inclined to
  • -ous: having the quality of, full of
  • -ish: like, tending to
  • -ate: make, become
  • -al: pertaining to, like
  • -ic: pertaining to, of the nature of
  • -ical: relating to, of the nature of
  • -ous: full of, characterized by.

Common Suffixes with Examples

List of common suffixes in English

1. -ate

  • Meaning: to make marked by
  • Example: alienate, regulate, passionate, affectionate

2. -en

  • Meaning: to make
  • Example: weaken, moisten

3. -ism

  • Meaning: the quality or practice of
  • Example: absolutism, baptism

4. -ation, -ition, -tion

  • Meaning: the act or condition of
  • Example: allegation, affirmation commotion recognition

5. -ty, -ity

  • Meaning: the state of
  • Example: modesty, security worker

6. -er,-ar, -ier, -or

  • Meaning: one that does or deals with
  • Example: teacher, scholar, furrier, bettor

7. -an

  • Meaning: one that does or deals with
  • Example: comedian, historian

8. -al

  • Meaning: resembling or pertaining to
  • Example: natural, accidental

9. -ous, -ious

  • Meaning: full of
  • Example: perilous, gracious, vicious

10. -able, -ible

  • Meaning: capable of being
  • Example: lovable, affordable, reversible

Common Suffixes | Images

Common Suffixes in EnglishPin

Common Suffixes in EnglishPin

Common Suffixes in EnglishPin

Common Suffixes in EnglishPin

3.2 5 votes
Article Rating
Subscribe
Notify of
guest

2 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Zunaid
Zunaid
1 year ago

excellent

Madina
Madina
1 year ago

it is very helpful

2
0
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x
()
x
1.6k