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1. Suffixes

Suffixes are groups of letters added to the end of a word to modify its meaning or its grammatical category.
Your friendship means a lot to me.
This activity can be dangerous.

2. Types of suffixes

Suffixes can be used to form nouns, adjectives, adverbs, verbs, comparatives... In this topic we will focus on the formation of nouns and adjectives.

  • To form a noun we can add a suffix to a verb, an adjective or another noun. Some of the more common suffixes are:
    Suffix Root word Opposite Root word Opposite
    -TION / -SION Inform Information Decide Decision
    Infect Infection Conclude Conclusion
    -ANCE / -ENCE Patient Patience Ignore Ignorance
    Obedient Obedience Important Importance
    -ER / -OR Drive Driver Act Actor
    Employ Employer Instruct Instructor
    -MENT Improve Improvement Treat Treatment
    Develop Development Entertain Entertainment
    -NESS Lazy Laziness Happy Happiness
    Sad Sadness Kind Kindness
  • To form an adjective we can add a suffix to a verb and a noun mainly, although it can also be added to some adjectives. Some of the most common suffixes are:

    Suffix Root word New word Root word New word
    -ABLE / -IBLE Comfort Comfortable Access Accessible
    Predict Predictable Sense Sensible
    -FUL Use Useful Pain Painful
    Help Helpful Power Powerful
    -LESS End Endless Home Homeless
    Harm Harmless Hope Hopeless
    -Y Cloud Cloudy Health Healthy
    Luck Lucky Noise Noisy
    -OUS Danger Dangerous Fame Famous
    Disaster Disastrous Poison Poisonous
    We will have to look in the dictionary to know which suffix we should use and also to check the spelling.


Suffixes are groups of letters added to the end of a word to modify its meaning. They can modify a noun, a verb or an adjective.
To make nouns Examples To make adjectives Examples
-TION / -SION Tense / Tension -ABLE / -IBLE Respect / Respectable
-ANCE / -ENCE Disappear / Disappearance -FUL Care / Careful
-ER / -OR Murder / Murderer -LESS Hope / Hopeless
-MENT Agree / Agreement -Y Laze / Lazy
-NESS Kind / Kindness -OUS Luxury / Luxurious