Recently, we talked about 12 of the most commonly-used prefixes in the English language. Today, we’re going to talk about something called a ‘suffix’. Let’s do this!
A suffix is a group of letters which can be added to the end of a word. A suffix cannot be used alone, and using one will change the meaning of the word it is attached to – but in a way that is different to how prefixes change the meaning of a word. Take a look at these examples first:
- I’m trying to focus on my personal development as a student.
- Here, ‘Develop’ is the root word and –ment is the suffix. The function of ‘-ment’ is to change the root from a verb into a noun.
- Trust is an important part of a real friendship.
- In this example, ‘Friend’ is the root and –ship is the suffix. The function of ‘-ship’ is to change the root from a noun referring to a PERSON to a noun referring to a THING (the state of being friends).
- He’s very good at languages. He learnt how to speak Italian very quickly!
- Here, the root word is ‘Quick’ and –ly is the suffix. The function of ‘-ly’ is to change the adjective ‘Quick’ into an adverb. An adverb describes how an action is done, adding information to the verb.
|Suffix||Changes root into||Example [+ ROOT]|
|-ity||Noun||Reality [Real (Adjective)]|
|-ment||Noun||Improvement [Improve (verb)]|
|-ness||Noun||Happiness [Happy (adjective)]|
|-ship||Noun||Internship [Intern (noun, person)]|
|-ation||Noun||Motivation [Motivate (Verb)]|
|-ize||Verb||Authorize [Author (noun)]|
|-able/-ible||Adjective||Reliable, sensible [Rely (verb), Sense (noun)]|
|-ful||Adjective||Beautiful [Beauty (noun)]|
|-ive||Adjective||Sensitive [Sense (noun)]|
|-ouS||Adjective||Dangerous [Danger (noun)]|
|-ly||Adverb||Slowly [Slow (adjective)]|
|-ally||Adverb||Accidentally [Accident (noun)]|
Curious about how well you know your suffixes? Check your skills and find out more about them using these free English lessons:
- Suffix ‘-ness’
- Prefix and Suffix Practice
- Suffix ‘-ever’
- -Able and –ible
- Noun and Adjective Endings
- 12 Prefixes and What They Mean