What is a Suffix?
A suffix is a letter or group of letters that are found at the end of a base word or root. They often signify part of speech and can add meaning. There are two types of suffixes:
This type of suffix creates a new word with a different meaning. As its names implies, the derivational suffix makes a new word that is “derived” from the base word or root. For example, the addition of ship to friend, creates a new word, friendship.
This type of suffix indicates the grammatical form of a word. For example, adding an “s” to the end of a noun indicates more than one. Adding an “ed” to the end of a verb, indicates past tense. Many nouns and verbs can be altered using a suffix and many adjective can be changed to adverbs by adding the suffix, ly.
Most Common Suffixes
The following 20 suffixes are commonly used; representing approximately 93%.
|1||s, es||plural||boys & boxes|
|2||ed||past-tense verb||loved & liked|
|3||ing||present participle verb||running & jumping|
|4||ly||resembling; similar to||quietly & loudly|
|5||er, or||person connected with||farmer & professor|
ation & ition
|act or process||direction & narration|
|7||ible, able|| capable of,
worthy of being
|likeable & comfortable|
|8||al, ial||having characteristics of||denial & spinal|
|9||y||characteristics by||funny & silly|
|10||ness||state or quality of: condition||happiness, & goodness|
|11||ity, ty||state of||activity & honesty|
|12||ment||action or process||enjoyment & experiment|
|13||ic||having characteristics of||poetic & historic|
| possessing the
|religious & virtuous|
|15||en||made of||wooden & enliven|
|16||er||comparative; more||better & smaller|
|adjective form of a noun||attentive & affirmative|
|18||ful||full of||joyful & cheerful|
|19||less||without; not having||hopeless & careless|
|20||est||comparative; most||smartest & biggest|
Fry, E.B., Ph.D. & Kress, J.E., Ed.D. (2006). The Reading Teacher’s Book of Lists 5th Edition. San Francisco, CA: Jossey Bass.