Suffix

From Teflpedia

A suffix is a morpheme (specifically an affix, and even more specifically an adfix) that is added to the end of a stem to form a derivative, for example govern - government; champion - championship).

They tend to be easier for speakers of European languages, and harder for students from some other language families. Teachers should encourage language learners to use word analysis to work out the meaning of unfamiliar words and there are several types of exercises which can be used.

Note that in some cases, the same suffix can be used for both an adjective and a noun. For instance musical, can be a noun and an adjective, but with different meanings. The suffixes -an, -ean and -ian are also used used as both adjectives and nouns. And the suffix -ish can be used for adjectives and verbs. Likewise, it's worth pointing out that not all words ending in -ly are adverbs.

Adjectives[edit | edit source]

See main article Adjectives.

-ful[edit | edit source]

  • Many adjectives end in –ful, but never in –full: beautiful, helpful, useful, etc.;

-an[edit | edit source]

Adjectives (and nouns) typical of or resembling; a person typical of[1]

  • African, Chicagoan, Elizabethan, Venezuelan.
-ean[edit | edit source]

Adjectives (and nouns) belonging to or relating to; a person belonging to or coming from[1]

  • Chilean, European
-ian[edit | edit source]

Adjectives (and nouns) adhering to or following; an adherent of[1]

  • Christian, Freudian, Rastafarian, Zoroastrian

Adjectives (and nouns) belonging to or relating to; a person belonging to or coming from[1]

  • Argentinian, Brazilian

-i[edit | edit source]

Of or relating to a region or people, esp. of the Middle East[2]

  • Bangladeshi, Iraqi

-ic/-ical[edit | edit source]

  • Many adjectives ending in -ic (phonetic, despotic, problematic, etc.) and just as many ending in -ical (phonological, tyrannical, typical, etc.). In some cases, both forms exist with the same meaning (poetic/poetical')'. There is no rule, so check each case in the dictionary;
  • The economic forecast for the next quarter is not very good; These new Japanese cars are very economical because they use very little petrol (not expensive);
  • I’ll never forget that historic moment when Armstrong stepped out on the moon; There are so many historical places to visit in Spain;
  • Other examples include: classic vs classical; comic vs comical; economic vs economical; electric vs electrical; historic vs historical; magic vs magical; politic vs political;

-ible/-able[edit | edit source]

  • Several adjectives of English or French origin end in -able, while those of Latin origin end in -able or -ible. The first group is far more frequent:
  • available, comfortable, probable, reliable, suitable, variable;
  • accessible, feasible, possible, responsible;

-ish[edit | edit source]

Nationalities: British, Danish, English, Irish, Swedish;

From nouns - having the qualities or characteristics of[3]:

  • childish, girlish, prudish

From adjectives - to a certain degree:

  • dampish, tallish, yellowish, youngish

-ist[edit | edit source]

Adjectives (and nouns) a person who advocates a particular doctrine, system, etc, or relating to such a person or the doctrine advocated[4]:

  • socialist

Adjectives (and nouns) characterized by a specified trait, tendency, etc, or relating to such a person or trait[4]:

  • purist

Adjectives (and nouns) prejudiced on the basis specified[4]:

  • sexist, ageist

-ly[edit | edit source]

having the qualities of[5]:

  • brotherly, likely, miserly, unlikely, woolly

recurring at intervals of:

  • hourly, monthly, quarterly, yearly

-y[edit | edit source]

  • from nouns (characterized by; consisting of; filled with; relating to; resembling): classy, funny, messy, sandy, smoky, sunny, wacky
  • from verbs (tending to; acting or existing as specified): leaky, runny, shiny, sticky, talky
  • others: clumsy, nasty, tidy, ugly,

Adverbs[edit | edit source]

-ly[edit | edit source]

From adjectives, chiefly denoting manner or degree[6]

  • gladly, greatly, funnily, happily, pointedly, sadly, slowly

-wise[edit | edit source]

  • bookwise, clockwise, likewise

Nouns[edit | edit source]

See main article Noun.

-al[edit | edit source]

  • musical

-an[edit | edit source]

Nouns (and adjectives) typical of or resembling; a person typical of[1]

  • Elizabethan

-ean[edit | edit source]

Nouns (and adjectives) belonging to or relating to; a person belonging to or coming from[1]

  • European

-ian[edit | edit source]

Indicates a person who specializes or is expert in[1]

  • dietitian, mathematician, musician, phonetician

Nouns (and adjectives) adhering to or following; an adherent of[1]

  • Christian, Freudian Rastafarian, Zoroastrian

-ism[edit | edit source]

Indicates action, process, or result[7]:

  • criticism, plagiarism, terrorism;

Indicates a state or condition[7]:

  • paganism;

Indicates a doctrine, system, or body of principles and practices[7]:

  • Buddhism, Fascism, Leninism, spiritualism;

Indicates behaviour or a characteristic quality[7]:

  • heroism; organism;

Indicates a characteristic usage, esp. of a language[7]:

  • colloquialism, Scotticism, witticism;

Indicates prejudice[7]:

  • ageism, racism, sexism.

-ist[edit | edit source]

Indicates a person who practises in a specific field[4]

  • physicist, typist

Indicates a person who performs a certain action or is concerned with something specified[4]:

  • motorist, soloist

Nouns (and adjectives) a person who advocates a particular doctrine, system, etc, or relating to such a person or the doctrine advocated[4]:

  • socialist

Nouns (and adjectives) characterized by a specified trait, tendency, etc, or relating to such a person or trait[4]:

  • purist

Nouns (and adjectives) prejudiced on the basis specified[4]:

  • sexist, ageist

-ness[edit | edit source]

  • fondness

-iness[edit | edit source]

From adjectives ending in -y

  • clumsiness, happiness

-dom[edit | edit source]

  • freedom

-ship[edit | edit source]

  • friendship

-ment[edit | edit source]

  • appointment, development, engagement, improvement, investment, measurement, treatment

-ion[edit | edit source]

Indicates action, process, or state[8]

  • creation, definition, objection

-ation[edit | edit source]

Indicates action, process, state, condition, or result[9]

  • arbitration, explanation, hibernation, moderation, organisation, situation

-tion[edit | edit source]

Indicates state, condition, action, process, or result[10]

  • conjunction, election, prohibition, projection

-sion[edit | edit source]

  • adhesion, division, excursion, expression, persuasion

See also Decoding exercises: "sion"

-ity[edit | edit source]

  • technicality

Verbs[edit | edit source]

-ise[edit | edit source]

-ize[edit | edit source]

-ish[edit | edit source]

  • abolish, establish.

Others[edit | edit source]

Inflections can also be suffixes:

  • -s: cats, dogs
  • -ed: asked, planned, ended
  • -er: faster
  • -est: fastest
  • -ing: thinking

References[edit | edit source]