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A suffix is a letter or a group of letters attached to the end of aword to form a new word or to change the grammatical function (or part of speech) of the original word. For example, the verbread is made into the noun readerby adding the suffix -er.Similarly, read is made into theadjective readable by adding the suffix -able.

Understanding the meanings of the common suffixes can help you figure out the meanings of new words you encounter.

But as you work on building your vocabulary, you might want to keep a few points in mind:

  • In some cases, the spelling of a root or base word changes when a suffix is added. For example, in words ending in preceded by a consonant (such as the nounbeauty and the adjective ugly), the y may change to an i when a suffix is added (as in the adjective beautiful and the noun ugliness). Also, in words ending in silent -e(such as use and adore), the final -e may be dropped before a suffix that begins with a vowel (as in usable and adorable). As with all spelling rules, there are exceptions of course.
     
    • Not all suffixes can be added to all roots. For example, the adjective beautifulis formed by adding the suffix -ful to the noun beauty, and the noun ugliness is formed by adding the suffix -ness  to the adjective ugly. But you won't find *ugliful in your dictionary--or in standard English. (Throughout this website, an asterisk in front of a construction shows that it's considered nonstandard or ungrammatical.)
       
    • A suffix may have more than one meaning. With adjectives and adverbs, for example, the suffix -er usually conveys the comparative meaning of "more" (as in the adjectives kinder and longer). But in some cases the -er ending can also refer to someone who performs a particular action (such as a dancer or builder) or to someone who lives in a particular place (such as a New Yorker or a Dubliner).

    Don't be put off by these variations, qualifications, and exceptions. Just think of these common suffixes as clues to the meanings of words. As in a detective story, sometimes the clues are clear and fairly obvious.

  • Noun Suffixes
    Suffix Meaning Example
    -acy state or quality privacy
    -al act or process of refusal
    -ance, -ence state or quality of maintenance, eminence
    -dom place or state of being freedom, kingdom
    -er, -or one who trainer, protector
    -ism doctrine, belief communism
    -ist one who chemist
    -ity, -ty quality of veracity
    -ment condition of argument
    -ness state of being heaviness
    -ship position held fellowship
    -sion, -tion state of being concession, transition
         
    Verb Suffixes
    -ate become eradicate
    -en become enlighten
    -ify, -fy make or become terrify
    -ize, -ise become civilize
         
    Adjective Suffixes
    -able, -ible capable of being edible, presentable
    -al pertaining to regional
    -esque reminiscent of picturesque
    -ful notable for fanciful
    -ic, -ical pertaining to musical, mythic
    -ious, -ous characterized by nutritious, portentous
    -ish having the quality of fiendish
    -ive having the nature of creative
    -less without endless
    -y characterized by sleazy

Последнее изменение: Thursday, 24 December 2015, 23:25