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Suffixes 1
A suffix is a set of letters at the end of a word that gives it a particular meaning or that changes its part of speech. For example, the suffix -ly changes an adjective to an adverb (for example, clear to clearly) and the suffix -ness changes an adjective to a noun (for example, good to goodness). Here are some other examples of suffixes, with their uses: -able, -ible, -ic, -ous, -ful, -less create adjectives: allowable, helpful, useless -ion, -tion, -ment, -ity, -hood, -ship create nouns: education, stupidity, childhood -en, -ate, -ify, -ise, ize create verbs: lengthen, domesticate, intensify Can you think of three suffixes that create adverbs? Write them below, and then give an example of a word which uses each one. The first one has been done for you. -wise clockwise

Spotting suffixes
Here are some sets of words which end in suffixes. Can you identify the suffix, decide what kind of words each set contains, and then think of more examples? Words postage, blockage, patronage alertness, rudeness, thickness unify, purify, notify accidental, natural, zoological keenly, painfully, warmly Suffix -age Part of Speech nouns Other Examples mileage, marriage

Verb factory
Each word on the conveyor belt will go through the Verb Factory, where a suffix will be added to turn it into a verb. Fill in the blanks to show the verbs that will emerge at the other end of the factory. The first one has been done for you. length active fabric simple beauty bright deodorant summary
Chambers Teachers Resources Chambers Harrap Publishers Ltd 2003

verb factory



A word may have more than one suffix: help + -less + -ly = helplessly, and hope + -ful + -ness = hopefulness.

Double suffix jigsaw

These words can each have more than one suffix added to them to make longer words. Can you match each one with two suffixes? Link them by drawing lines, and then write the complete new word in the space on the right. The first one has been done for you. ward ness ness boyishness



ful ly






Remember that the suffix -ly cannot be directly attached to adjectives ending in -ic so you must add -ally instead. For example, tragic becomes tragically, and fantastic becomes fantastically. The exception to this is public which becomes publicly. Spelling changes In most cases suffixes do not change the spelling at the end of the word they are attached to, especially if the suffix begins with a consonant. However, sometimes the word does change, for example by dropping an e, or doubling a consonant. Sometimes the root word changes in a less predictable way. Can you spot the difference in these examples? horror horrify abdomen abdominal pollen pollinate defend defensible curious curiosity pronounce pronunciation humour humorous contend contention

-ant or -ent? Where there are two forms of a word, one ending with the suffix -ant and the other with -ent, the -ant word is usually the noun (dependant) and the -ent word is usually the adjective (dependent). However, you cannot rely on this as a rule, and for most words you must simply learn the correct spelling.

A or E?
Fill in the gaps in these words with a or e:

discord suffici nt nt immigr

nt absorb nt nt nt



domin nt

nt delinqu

Chambers Teachers Resources




Chambers Harrap Publishers Ltd 2003