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Using Suffixes

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A suffix is a letter or group of letters placed at the end of a word to change its grammatical function, tense, or meaning. Suffixes display all kinds of relationships between form, meaning, and function. They can be used to create a verb from a noun or adjective or an adjective from a verb.Adding suffixes to words can change or add to their meaning, but most importantly they show how a word will be used in a sentence and what part of speech.

Some words that end with a silent "e" change when suffixes are added, so look at the first letter of the suffix. If it starts with a vowel, drop the "e"
For example, drop the "e" from “inquire" when adding -ing so that it becomes “inquiring."

Change adjectives that end in –ic to adverbs with the suffix –ally. For example, make “fantastic" an adverb with the suffix –ally, so that it reads “fantastically".


suffix "ed" Example "walk + ed = walked"

suffix "ed" Example "walk + ed = walked"

suffix "ed" Example "walk + ed = walked"

suffix "ary" Example "imagine + ary = imaginary"

suffix "ly" Example "love + ly = lovely"

suffix "ful" Example "help + ful + helpful"

suffix "er" Example "teach + er = teacher"

suffix "est" Example "large + est = largest"

suffix "fully" Example "hope + fully = hopefully"

suffix "able" meaning "capable of being" Example "love/afford/reverse + able = lovable, affordable, reversible"

suffix "ism" meaning "the quality or practice of" Example "absolute/baptism + ism = absolutism, baptism" .

Sample Usage


Suffix "-er" I work as a computer programmer.

Suffix "-able" These glass bottles are recyclable.

Suffix "-ous" Driving on the freeway can be dangerous.

Suffix "-ness" At night, the earth is covered in darkness.

Suffix "-ful" The witness gave an honest and truthful testimony.

Suffix "-ly" James whistled happily on his way home from school.

Suffix "-ment" Mary sighed with contentment.

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