Suffixes come at the end of a word, and can change its meaning, or what type of word it is. ‘-er’ and ‘-or’ are the most common and change verbs to nouns to describe a person or thing that does a job. For example:
- Write – writer (a person who writes)
- Sail – sailor (a person who sails)
- Grate – grater (a thing which grates, like a cheese-grater)
‘-tion’ also makes nouns from verbs:
- Reduce – reduction
- Pollute – pollution
Other suffixes which make nouns from verbs include ‘-ist’, which can mean a person with certain beliefs or maybe a job or activity (racist, terrorist, physicist, pianist), and ‘-ism’ which describes the activity or set or beliefs (racism, Buddhism). ‘-ment’ and ‘-ity’ also make nouns from verbs (excitement, productivity).
- ‘-ness’ makes nouns from adjectives (goodness, happiness, sadness).
- ‘-ise’ and ‘-ize’ make verbs from adjectives (modernise).
There are lots of suffixes which make adjectives, here are a few:
- ‘-ful’ – forgetful
- ‘-ous’ – furious
- ‘-able’ / ‘-ible’ – edible, justifiable
- ‘-less’ – useless
Learning which suffixes make which types of words can really help to improve your vocabulary. The best idea is to ‘build’ words that you have learned, by checking in the dictionary and making a note of all the suffixes that can be added to it to change it into a different type of word.
Again, I think the best way to learn these is to make a note of them when you learn a new word. Your dictionary will be able to help you as well, if you need to check which prefixes or suffixes a word can take, have a look in your dictionary.
Practice them and these particles will be very useful for you.
See you next time.