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Spelling and Suffix Help

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Updated on Sep 8, 2011

Suffix Help

Word endings that are added to the main part, or root, of words are called suffixes. Suffixes are word parts that signal how a word is being used in a sentence. Suffixes often change the part of speech of a word.

For example, take a look at the word deferment from this chapter's vocabulary list. Deferment is a noun that means a postponement. If the suffix (-ment) is removed, the word becomes defer, and it is used as a verb that means to postpone.

      As a verb, it appears as defer:
      I will defer the payment until next month.
      As a noun, it appears as it is:
      The bank gave him a deferment.
      As an adjective, it appears as deferred:
      The deferred payment is due in one month.

Suffixes

TIP

Before you flip the page, go back to the list next to the crossword and see if you can identify each word's part of speech based on its suffix. Then, check the definitions to see if you are right.

The previous table shows the suffixes that are used in this vocabulary list. They are divided into the parts of speech, or the "jobs" they suggest for the words. Other words that contain those suffixes are listed. In the last column, add at least one other word that uses the suffix, besides the one in today's vocabulary list.

Suffix List

      agrarian        
      suffix: -ian means one who is or does
      (adj.)
      having to do with agriculture or farming
      The farmer loved his _____ life.
      antagonist        
      suffix: -ist means one who
      (noun)
      one that contends with or opposes another
      In the movie Batman, the Joker is Batman's _____.
      bigotry        
      suffix: -ry means state of
      (noun)
      unreasonable zeal in favor of a party, sect, or opinion; excessive prejudice
      _____ can lead to malevolent actions.
      consummate        
      suffix: -ate means to make
      (verb)
      to complete, to carry to the utmost degree
      The business woman needed to _____ the deal quickly.
      copious        
      suffix: -ious means having the quality of
      (adj.)
      abundant; plentiful; in great quantities
      A _____ amount of sunshine is predicted for the summer.
      cryptic        
      suffix: -ic means causing
      (adj.)
      hidden; secret; having a hidden or ambiguous meaning
      The detective uncovered the meaning of the _____ message.
      deferment        
      suffix: -ment means quality of
      (noun)
      the act of putting off or delaying; postponement
      The bank offered the struggling college graduate a _____ on his student loan payment.
      exacerbate        
      suffix: -ate means to make
      (verb)
      to make more violent, bitter, or severe
      The cold weather _____ her dry skin.
      furtive        
      suffix: -ive means having the nature of
      (adj.)
      done in a stealthy manner; sly and underhanded
      The two criminals who were in cahoots gave each other _____ looks behind the detective's back.
      laudable        
      suffix: -able means capable of
      (adj.)
      praiseworthy
      Her dedication and ability to rehabilitate the injured is _____.
      geology        
      suffix: -ology means study of
      (noun)
      the study of the history of the earth and its life, especially as recorded in rocks
      The _____ major traveled to Mt. Etna to examine the effects of the volcano's most recent eruption.
      minimize        
      suffix: -ize means to subject to an action
      (verb)
      to play down; to keep to a minimum
      The president tried to _____ his involvement in the trial so that he would not be implicated in the scandal.
      mutation        
      suffix: -tion means action of, state of
      (noun)
      the act or process of changing
      Scientists research gene _____ in fruit flies to see how genes change from one generation to the next.
      obsolescence        
      suffix: -escence means state of
      (noun)
      the state of being outdated
      With the advent of the personal computer, the typewriter has been in _____ for many years.
      parity        
      suffix: -ity means state of being
      (noun)
      the state or condition of being the same in power, value, or rank; equality
      Women and minorities continue to fight for _____ in the workplace.
      pragmatism        
      suffix: -ism means state or doctrine of
      (noun)
      faith in the practical approach
      Her _____ has helped her start her own business and maintain it for many years.
      provocative        
      suffix: -ive means having the nature of
      (adj.)
      something that stirs up an action
      His _____ speech caused many to support his campaign.
      puerile        
      suffix: -ile means pertaining to
      (adj.)
      childish, silly, immature
      Based on Jared's _____ behavior, one would think he is a teenager rather than a father of two.
      rectify        
      suffix: -ify means to make
      (verb)
      to make right; to correct
      I tried to _____ the situation by seating the two employees in different departments.
      relentless        
      suffix: -less means without
      (adj.)
      harsh; unmoved by pity; unstoppable
      I was _____ with my athletic training when I was preparing for the Regionals.
      venerate        
      suffix: -ate means to make
      (verb)
      to look upon with deep respect and reverence
      My parents taught me to _____ my teachers.

Practice exercises for this study guide can be found at: Spelling and Suffix Practice

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