The Most Common Suffixes in English –
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The Most Common Suffixes in English


A suffix is a letter or a group of letters placed at the end of a word in order to give it an additional meaning or to change its grammatical function.

Let’s see a few suffixes for nouns, verbs and adjectives.

Suffixes for nouns:

  1. – acy
  • meaning: state or quality of someone or something
  • example: Knock at the door next time, please! Respect my privacy.
  • other examples: accuracy, legacy, pharmacy
  1. – age
  • meaning: the process of something
  • example: Our marriage is not working anymore.
  • other examples: carriage, passage, sabotage
  1. – al
  • meaning: act or the process of
  • example: The arrival of the King was spectacular.
  • other examples: refusal, survival, tutorial
  1. – ance, -ence
  • meaning: state or quality of
  • example: We have maintenance 3 more hours.
  • other examples: performance, appearance, distance, absence, difference, coincidence.
  1. – dom
  • meaning: place or state of being
  • example: Freedom is all we need.
  • other examples: boredom, kingdom, wisdom
  1. – er, -or, -ist
  • meaning: a person who does something
  • examples: Our English teacher is the best.
  • He is our protector.
  • Is she the jurist we need to talk to?
  • other examples: trainer, baker, rider, possessor, agressor, inspector, protagonist, opportunist, zoologist
  1. – ism
  • meaning: condition, state, the belief in something
  • example: Racism is a problem all over the nations.
  • other examples: alcoholism, communism, liberalism
  1. – ity
  • meaning: quality of
  • example: Our inactivity affected the company income.
  • other examples: simplicity, diversity, rarity
  1. – ment
  • meaning: condition of
  • example: Your punishment is to leave the city as soon as possible.
  • other examples: agreement, engagement, investment
  1. -ness
  • meaning: state of being
  • example: His sadness affected us all.
  • other examples: weakness, darkness, sickness
  1. -ship
  • meaning: state, condition, position
  • example: Friendship can last years if it is real.
  • other examples: relationship, citizenship, internship

Suffixes for Verbs:

  1. -ate
  • meaning: state or quality of
  • example: Can you activate this device, please?
  • other examples: stagnate, eradicate, incriminate
  1. -en
  • meaning: to become
  • example: In order to lighten the palace, you have to pay a tax.
  • other examples: strenghten, sharpen, threaten
  1. -ify
  • meaning: make or become
  • example: Can you clarify all this theory, please?
  • other examples: simplify, terrify, rectify
  1. -ise (British English)
  • meaning: quality, condition, to become
  • example: Does he realise all you do for him?
  • other examples: apologise, rationalise, improvise

Suffixes for Adjectives:

  1. -able
  • meaning: capable of
  • example: Sam is a reliable person.
  • other examples: adaptable, sociable, reasonable
  1. -al
  • meaning: pertaining to
  • example: Your son has a criminal behaviour.
  • other examples: natural, emotional, actual
  1. -ful
  • meaning: full of, ability of
  • example: My daughter is a joyful girl.
  • other examples: painful, helpful, useful
  1. -ible
  • meaning: ability
  • example: She is an incredible person.
  • other examples: sensible, flexible, terrible
  1. -ic
  • meaning: relating to
  • example: Who’s that enthusiastic girl?
  • other examples: artistic, scientific, realistic
  1. -ous
  • meaning: full of
  • example: She is a suspicious person!
  • other examples: ambitious, ridiculous, serious
  1. -ish
  • meaning: having the quality of
  • example: Your childish imagination went too far!
  • other examples: selfish, foolish, oldish
  1. -ive
  • meaning: having the nature of, tend to
  • example: Your impulsive mood affect our activity!
  • other examples: creative, aggressive, effective
  1. -less
  • meaning: without
  • example: It’s a hopeless situation for our family right now.
  • other examples: useless, meaningless, careless
  1. -y
  • meaning: characterized by
  • example: It’s a rainy day!
  • other examples: salty, dirty, healthy