English use of Suffixes (III)

A suffix is a letter or group of letters added at the end of a word to make a new word.

Here we look at 4 more common suffixes:

All definitions and examples are taken from the Cambridge Online Dictionary.

-ness
combining form added to adjectives to form nouns which refer to a quality or a condition happiness (=the quality of being happy)
sadness
nervousness
selfishness
In ‘kindness’ a noun has been formed from the adjective ‘kind’.
the causes of homelessness (=the condition of people who do not have a home)

-ship (RANK)
combining form having the rank, position, skill or relationship of the stated type
lordship
partnership
craftsmanship
friendship

-ward (TOWARDS)
combining form towards the stated place or direction
At least we’re walking in a homeward direction.
The living room has seaward facing windows.
Take the northward road.
At last, to our great joy we were sailing landward.
Move onward three squares.

-wards
combining form
Take a couple of steps backwards/forwards.
Keep looking upwards as you climb – if you look downwards you’ll feel dizzy.
Stand in a circle all facing inwards.
We continued walking southwards for another three or four kilometres.

-wise (IN THIS WAY)
combining form in this way or in this direction
As an actor he had his own peculiar way of walking crabwise across a stage.
Cut the fish open lengthwise.
That’s interesting – you use the spoon clockwise to whip food and I do it in the opposite direction.

-wise (RELATING TO)
combining form INFORMAL relating to
What shall we do foodwise – do you fancy going out to eat?
Moneywise, of course, I’m much better off than I used to be.
What do we need to take with us clothes-wise?
We were very lucky weather-wise yesterday.

English use of Suffixes (II)

A suffix is a letter or group of letters added at the end of a word to make a new word. Here we look at 5 more common suffixes.

-ism (ESPECIALLY DISAPPROVING)
combining form
used to form nouns which describe social, political or religious beliefs, studies or ways of behaving
fanaticism
fogeyism
sexism
feminism
Buddhism

-ist
combining form
used to form adjectives and nouns which describe (a person with) a particular set of beliefs or way of behaving.
Marxist philosophy
a feminist
a sexist
a Daoist

-ize, British and Australian usually -ise
combining form added to adjectives to form verbs meaning to cause to become
to modernize (=to make modern)
to centralize

-less (WITHOUT)
combining form used to form adjectives meaning without (the thing mentioned)
Something without meaning is meaningless.
He has no friends at all – he is friendless.

-ment
combining form used to form nouns which refer to an action or process or its result
strong government
successful management
a great achievement
a bitter disappointment

English use of Suffixes (I)

A suffix is a letter or group of letters added at the end of a word to make a new word.

Here we look at 5 common suffixes:

-able, -ible (CAN BE)

added to verbs to form adjectives which mean able to receive the action of the stated verb
breakable
washable
moveable
presentable
A countable noun is one that can be counted

-able, -ible (WORTH BEING)

added to verbs to form adjectives which mean worth receiving the action of the stated verb
an admirable person
an acceptable answer

-ion, -ation, -ition (ACTION)

added to verbs to form nouns showing action or condition
In ‘obsession’ a noun has been formed from the verb ‘obsess’ by adding -ion.
In ‘admiration’ a noun has been formed from the verb ‘admire’ by removing the ‘e’ and adding -ation.
In ‘repetition’ a noun has been formed from the verb ‘repeat’ by changing the spelling and adding -ition.

-en (INCREASE)

used to form verbs which mean to increase the stated quality
You can sweeten your drink with honey or brown sugar.
If your belt is too tight then loosen it.

-ful (HAVING)

having the stated quality to a high degree, or causing it
a colourful picture (=a picture containing a lot of colours)
a powerful person (=someone who has a lot of power)
a tearful child (=a child who is crying a lot)
a painful illness (=an illness causing pain)
a truthful person (=someone who always tells the truth)

-ful (AMOUNT)

the amount of something needed to fill the stated container or place
two spoonfuls/spoonsful of sugar
a mouthful of tea
a houseful of people

-ify, -fy

used to form verbs meaning to cause an increase in the stated quality; to become
to simplify (=make more simple)
to intensify (=make more intense)
to beautify (=make beautiful)
The cement had solidified (=become solid)