Suffixes

Word endings or suffixes change the grammatical function of words; they do not change the root meanings of words.

He does a careful job. He works carefully.

A form of the word care is used in both sentences. In the first sentence the word is an adjective directing attention to the end result, the job. In the second sentence it is an adverb directing attention to the activity, the work being done.

Suffix

Effect or Meaning

Examples

able, ible

adjective ending: able to, tend to, worthy of

profitable, edible

ac, iac

adj. /noun ending: having, affected by

cardiac, maniac

age

noun ending: collection, condition

foliage, dotage

al, ial, ual

adj./noun ending: of, pertaining to

editorial, personal, refusal, manual

ance, ence

noun ending: used to form nouns from

tolerance, dependence

adjectives and verbs

resistance, evidence

ant

adj./noun ending: in the act, one who does

tolerant, assailant

ary

adj./noun ending: pertaining to, a person, a place

honorary, secretary, library

ate

verb/adj./noun ending

imitate, collegiate, magistrate

cy y

adj./noun ending: quality or state of being

stony, rainy, tendency

dom

noun ending: state or condition

freedom, serfdom

ent

adj./noun ending: having the quality of, performing

dependent, evident,

the action of

superintendent

er, or, eer

noun ending: a person

leader, senator, engineer

er

adj./adv. ending: comparative-more

rarer, prettier

est

adj. ending: superlative degree--most

noisiest, fastest

ful

adj./adv. ending: full of, able to, having character of

beautiful, helpful

fy

verb ending: make or become

verify, ratify, satisfy, stupefy

hood

noun ending: state, condition

childhood, adulthood

ic, tic

noun/adj. ending: pertaining to, of, resembling,

mechanic, heroic, angelic,

containing

aromatic

ice

noun ending: person, quality

novice, avarice

il, ile

adj./noun ending

civil, fossil, missile

ious

adj. ending: having, characterized by

anxious

ish

adj./verb ending: of, belonging to, like, somewhat

childish, selfish, punish,

accomplish

ism

noun ending: condition, belief

mannerism, egotism

ist

noun ending: indicating a person

machinist, typist, realist

ity, ty

noun ending: state, condition, quality

sincerity, liberty, loyalty

ive

adj. ending: relating to, of the nature of

massive, disruptive

ion, tion, sion

noun ending: condition action

indignation, extension

ize, ise

verb ending

sympathize, advise

less

adj. ending: without

thoughtless, blameless

like

adj. ending: resembling

homelike, manlike

logy

noun ending: speech, study of

biology, geology

ly

adv./adj. ending

godly, weekly, pleasantly

ment

noun ending: result of, condition of, action of

achievement, government,

astonishment

ness

noun ending: state or quality of being

goodness, laziness

ose

adj. ending: full of, resembling

grandiose, verbose

ous, ious

adj. ending: full of, like

famous, ominous, populous

ship

noun ending: skill, state of being

ownership, horsemanship

tial, sial, cial

adj. ending

essential, controversial

tude

noun ending: state or quality of

rectitude, verisimilitude

ward

adverb ending: in the direction of

homeward

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