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How to Write Clear, Readable, Effective Sentences that Readers Love!
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A Cheat Sheet of English Suffixes

A Cheat Sheet of English SuffixesMany English words are formed from other English words by means of prefixes and suffixes.

A letter, syllable, or word joined to the beginning of a word is called a prefix; a letter or syllable joined to the end is called a suffix.

From the word, tell, is formed foretell, by joining a prefix; and from do is formed doer, by joining a suffix.

A word may take two or more prefixes or suffixes at the same time. Thus, repro-duce contains two prefixes, re and pro; wonderfully contains two suffixes, ful and ly.

Some prefixes and suffixes are of Saxon origin and others are from the Latin. Some of them are words that we can use separately, while the greater part we cannot separate.

Many inseparable prefixes in English are separable in the languages from which they are derived. In learning our own language, we can familiarize ourselves with the meaning of most prefixes and suffixes. This helps us learn new words based on the meaning of several words framed by certain prefixes and suffixes.

For example, after learning the meaning of the word confirm, we now know the meaning of the words confirmed, confirmation, confirmatory, confirmer, unconfirmed, etc., because these words are variations of the word confirm.

** (We also have a complete list of English prefixes)



-able, capable of being, that may be: break-able.
-aceous, having property of, full of, like: cret-aceous.
-acious, characterized by, showing, indicating: mend-acious
-acy, state or quality of being, office of: confeder-acy.
-age, collection of, state of being, act of, allowance for: parent-age.
-al, of, pertaining to, becoming: form-al.
-an, -ian, one who, pertaining to: music-ian.
-ana, pertaining to (used of collections of anecdotes,sayings,etc.): Americ-ana.
-ance, -ancy, condition, state of being, act of: avoid-ance.
-aneous. pertaining to: instant-aneous.
-ant, one who, that which: assist-ant.
-ar, one who, that which: li-ar.
-ard, -art, one who, liable or addicted to: drunk-ard.
-ary, a doer of (something special), place where: incendi-ary.
-ate, quality*effect, office, etc.: affection-ate.


-cal, full of, pertaining to: whimsi-cal.
-cule, small, diminutive, little: animal-cule.
-cy, condition, state of being: luna-cy.

D - E

-dom, state, condition, quality: martyr-dom.
-ean, of or pertaining to: hercul-ean.
-ed, suffix of past tense and past participle: need-ed.
-ee, recipient of: pay-ee.
-eer, -ier, engaged in, employed at, one who: financ-ier.
-en, made of, pertaining to: wood-en.
-ence, -ency, condition, state of being, act of: independ-ence.
-ent, having such a habit, property, etc., one who: persist-ent.
-er, -yer. -or, one who does, agent: paint-er.
-erly, going to, coming from: west-erly.
-ery, place where something (specified) is done: brew-ery.
-escence, state of becoming, approach to: adol-escence.
-escent, growing, becoming: conval-escent.
-esque, like, partaking of: pictur-esque.
-et, -ette, diminutive ending: minu-et.


-fold, repeated (so many) times: five-fold.
-fill, full of, abounding in: beauti-ful.
-fy, to make, to render: magni-fy.

G - H

-geneous, -genous, in respect of kind, by nature: homo-geneous.
-graphy, a writing or describing: geo-graphy.
-hood, -head, state, condition, quality: man-hood.


-ic, -ical, made of, one who: stroph-ic.
-ice, act of, quality of: just-ice.
-ics, the science or art of: phys-ics.
-ie, -y, diminutive suffix: bunn-y.
-ile, of, apt to: infant-ile.
-ing, the act of, continuing: play-ing.
-ise, -ize, to make, to do, to practice: jeopard-ize.
-ish, pertaining to, somewhat: self-ish.
-ism, -izm, state of being, doctrine or theory: social-ism.
-ist, one who, occupation: pharmac-ist.
-ite, one of, a follower of: Gideon-ite.
-itis, inflammation of (part specified): tonsil-itis.
-ity, -ty, state or quality of: timid-ity.
-ivs, of the nature of, tending to: instructive.

K - L

-kin, diminutive ending: nap-kin.
-lence, -lent, full of, abounding: opu-lence.
-less, without, free from, lacking: hope-less.
-let, used for, little, small: eye-let.
-ling, one who, diminutive ending: under-ling.
-lite, of or pertaining to stone: aero-lite.
-logy, science of: astro-logy.
-ly, like, in the manner of: open-ly.

M - N

-ment, act, state, or condition of: content-ment.
-meter, a measure: baro-meter.
-most, in the highest degree: utter-most.
-ness, state, condition, quality: dark-ness.


-ock, small, young: hill-ock.
-oid, -oidal. formed like, resembling: spher-oid.
-or, an agent: collect-or.
-ory, relating to, place where: deposit-ory.
-ose, -ous, full of, abounding in: portent-ous.

P - R

-phorous, bearing, having: phos-phorous.
-ry, method, place, region: Jew-ry.


-scope, an instrument for observing: tele-scope.
-ship, state, office, dignity: owner-ship.
-sion, state, action: repres-sion.
-some, having in a considerable degree or quality: lone-some.
-ster, one who, employed at: trick-ster.


-teen, -ten, termination of numerals: seven-teen.
-tion, state, action: atten-tion.
-tory, having, manifesting: satisfac-tory.
-tude, action, state of being: apti-tude.
-ture, -ure, action, being, thing produced: frac-ture.
-ty, the being or having a (specified) property or quality: enti-ty.

U - Y

-ule, little, petty: glob-ule.
-ward, -wards, in a (specified) direction: for-ward.
-way, -ways, -wise, in a (specified) manner, guise, or direction:side-ways.
-y, condition, state of being: length-y.

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