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  ENGLISH GRAMMAR for ESL learners  


SUFFIXES WITH THEIR MEANING


What is a suffix?

A suffix in English is a letter or a group of letters added to the stem of a word to form a new word.
A suffix can change the stem of a word into a noun, a verb, an adverb or adjective.
For example: rain - rainy, slow – slowly, music – musical, help – helpful

SUFFIXES IN ENGLISH

-al
(relating to)
-ian
(relating to)
-ary
(relating to)
-ate
(cause to act)
musical
national
seasonal
historian
librarian
magician
customary
disciplinary
monentary
collaborate
eradicate
detonate
-ful
(notable for)
-less
(without)
-ive
(tending towards)
ic/-ical
(pertaining to)
graceful
helpful
powerful
fearless
homeless
useless
attentive
informative
supportive
mythic
domestic
methodical
-ish
(of that nature)
-ity/-ty-
(state)
-ly
(manner)
-y
(inclined to be)
coldish
darkish
tallish
enormity
validity
veracity
anxiously
badly
shyly
healthy
sandy
salty

Adjectives, adverbs and nouns can also be used as suffixes.
Some are used with a hyphen. However, over time, many of the newly-formed words have been accepted into the English language without a hyphen.

ADJECTIVE, ADVERB and NOUN SUFFIXES

-free
(without, not containing)
-friendly
(helpful or suitable to)
-hood
(state, condition)
-like
(similar to)
aclohol-free
fat-free
interest-free
salt-free
sugar-free
tax-free
dog-friendly
eco-fiendly
family-friendly
guest-friendly
tourist-friendly
user-friendly
adulthood
boyhood
childhood
manhood
priesthood
widowhood
birdlike
childlike
humanlike
lifelike
ladylike
witchlike
-proof
(become)
-ridden
(full of, confined to)
-ware
(articles of same type)
-wise
(in the direction of / concerning)
fireproof
hackproof
soundproof
stainproof
sunproof
waterproof
bedridden
debt-ridden
crime-ridden
drug-ridden
flea-ridden
guild-ridden
glassware
hardware
kitchenware
silverware
software
tableware

lengthwise
clockwise/anticlockwise
slantwise
health-wise
price-wise
weather-wise

See also:   Prefixes

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Please note that British English spelling is used on this website.

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