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  1. 1. A suffix is a letter or a group of letters attached to the end of a word to form a new word or to alter the grammatical function of the original word. For example, the verb read can be made into the noun reader by adding the suffix -er; read can be made into the adjective readable by adding the suffix - able. Understanding the meanings of the common suffixes can help us deduce the meanings of new words that we encounter. The table below defines and illustrates 26 common suffixes. Common Suffixes Noun SuffixesSuffix Meaning Example-acy state or quality privacy-al act or process of refusal-ance, -ence state or quality of maintenance, eminence-dom place or state of being freedom, kingdom-er, -or one who trainer, protector-ism doctrine, belief communism-ist one who chemist-ity, -ty quality of veracity-ment condition of argument-ness state of being heaviness-ship position held fellowship-sion, -tion state of being concession, transition Verb Suffixes-ate become eradicate-en become enlighten-ify, -fy make or become terrify-ize, -ise become civilize Adjective Suffixes-able, -ible capable of being edible, presentable-al pertaining to regional-esque reminiscent of picturesque-ful notable for fanciful-ic, -ical pertaining to musical, mythic-ious, -ous characterized by nutritious, portentous-ish having the quality of fiendish-ive having the nature of creative-less without endless-y characterized by sleazy
  2. 2. SuffixesA suffix goes at the end of a word. A prefix goes at the beginning.A suffix is a group of letters placed at the end of a word to make a new woways: 1. inflectional (grammatical): for example, changing singular to plural (d (walk > walked). In this case, the basic meaning of the word does not c 2. derivational (the new word has a new meaning, "derived" from the ori carefulInflectional suffixesInflectional suffixes do not change the meaning of the original word. So iwalked to school", the words walk and walked have the same basic meaninbasic meaning of the words car and cars is exactly the same. In these cases"correctness". Look at these examples:suffix grammatical change example example original word suffixed word-s plural dog dogs-en plural (irregular) ox oxen-s 3rd person singular present like he likes-ed past tense work he worked
  3. 3. past participle he has worked-en past participle (irregular) eat he has eaten-ing continuous/progressive sleep he is sleeping-er comparative big bigger-est superlative big the biggestDerivational suffixesWith derivational suffixes, the new word has a new meaning, and is usuallyrelated to the old meaning - it is "derived" from the old meaning.We can add more than one suffix, as in this example:derive (verb) + tion = derivation (noun) + al = derivational (adjective)There are several hundred derivational suffixes. Here are some of the more csuffix making example example original word suffixed word-ation nouns explore exploration hesitate hesitation-sion persuade persuasion divide division-er teach teacher
  4. 4. -cian music musician-ess god goddess-ness sad sadness-al arrive arrival-ary diction dictionary-ment treat treatment-y jealous jealousy victor victory-al adjectives accident accidental-ary imagine imaginary-able tax taxable-ly brother brotherly-y ease easy-ful sorrow sorrowful forget forgetful-ly adverbs helpful helpfully
  5. 5. -ize verbs terror terrorize private privatize-ate hyphen hyphenateNote that the suffix -er can convert almost any verb into the person or thingteacher is a person who teaches, a lover loves, a killer kills, an observer obsething that sprinkles, a copier copies, a shredder shreds.
  6. 6. GRAMMAR EXPLANATION What are suffixes? Suffixes are groups of letters added after a word, which then creates new words. For example: teacher - "er" means someone who does, so the new meaning is "someone who teaches" sinful - "ful" means characterized by, so the new meaning is "someone characterized by sin"There are many suffixes in English, some of which are quite common and some of which are usedless frequently. In some cases, the same suffix may have more than one meaning, too. If you learn suffixes, your ability to comprehend new words will greatly improve. Unfortunately, it comes down to memorization. Heres a list of many suffixes. The ones marked with the following symbol () are more often used, and should perhaps be studied first. SUFFIXES -able or -ible able to do; fit to do debatable doable teachable Finishing the report by noon is doable, I think. -ance or -ence used to form nouns from verbs; state or condition assistance dependence difference If you need assistance, please ask a store clerk. -d or -ed used to form the past tense with verbs dropped typed twisted I twisted my ankle yesterday, and now I can hardly walk. -en used to form verbs from adjectives harden strengthen whiten . I regularly have the dentist whiten my teeth.
  7. 7. -er used to form comparatives easier lighter slower Which is easier, speaking in English or listening to English? -er or -or someone who does or is actor swimmer teacherAlthough I had wanted to become an actor, I became an acting teacher instead. -es or -s used to form plural verbs finishes passes plays My daughter often plays in the yard with her friends. -est to the greatest degree darkest greatest warmest Babe Ruth is the greatest baseball player ever, isnt he? -ful characterized by; full of bashful playful sinful When my son turned two, he became quite bashful around adults. -ise or -ize cause to be or become; become like dramatize hospitalize sterilize After the accident, I was hospitalized for a few days. -ist someone who believes; someone who does contortionist pianist sexist My coworker is really sexist. I hate even talking with him! -ity or -ty used to express quality or state
  8. 8. complexity reality tasty In reality, politicians rarely tell the truth.Skill Builders: Grammar – Suffixes Upper-Intermediate Heads Up English www.headsupenglish.com -less without childless homeless penniless If the stock market continues to drop, Im going to be penniless! -ly used to form adverbs from adjectives carefully foolishly quickly I foolishly told my boss the truth, so he fired me. -ment action or process, or the result of advancement ailment movementUnfortunately, advancement in my company is based on length of service and not skills. -ness condition; degree; quality; state abruptness brightness darkness The brightness of the cars headlights hurt my eyes. -sion or -tion used to form nouns from verbs; expresses an action comprehension orientation reaction After orientation on the first day, new students are invited to a welcome party.

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