Common Suffixes in English (With Meaning 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.

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

What's Your Reaction?

Confused Confused
0
Confused
Sad Sad
0
Sad
Geeky Geeky
0
Geeky
Haha Haha
0
Haha
Wow Wow
2
Wow
Hard Hard
0
Hard
Easy Easy
0
Easy
What? What?
0
What?

Comments 0

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Common Suffixes in English (With Meaning and Examples)

log in

Become a part of our community!
Don't have an account?
sign up

reset password

Back to
log in

sign up

Join ESL Buzz Community

Back to
log in
Choose A Format
Personality quiz
Series of questions that intends to reveal something about the personality
Trivia quiz
Series of questions with right and wrong answers that intends to check knowledge
Poll
Voting to make decisions or determine opinions
Story
Formatted Text with Embeds and Visuals
List
The Classic Internet Listicles
Open List
Submit your own item and vote up for the best submission
Ranked List
Upvote or downvote to decide the best list item
Meme
Upload your own images to make custom memes
Video
Youtube, Vimeo or Vine Embeds
Audio
Soundcloud or Mixcloud Embeds
Image
Photo or GIF
Gif
GIF format