Spelling and Suffix Help

based on 1 rating
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.



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

      suffix: -ian means one who is or does
      having to do with agriculture or farming
      The farmer loved his _____ life.
      suffix: -ist means one who
      one that contends with or opposes another
      In the movie Batman, the Joker is Batman's _____.
      suffix: -ry means state of
      unreasonable zeal in favor of a party, sect, or opinion; excessive prejudice
      _____ can lead to malevolent actions.
      suffix: -ate means to make
      to complete, to carry to the utmost degree
      The business woman needed to _____ the deal quickly.
      suffix: -ious means having the quality of
      abundant; plentiful; in great quantities
      A _____ amount of sunshine is predicted for the summer.
      suffix: -ic means causing
      hidden; secret; having a hidden or ambiguous meaning
      The detective uncovered the meaning of the _____ message.
      suffix: -ment means quality of
      the act of putting off or delaying; postponement
      The bank offered the struggling college graduate a _____ on his student loan payment.
      suffix: -ate means to make
      to make more violent, bitter, or severe
      The cold weather _____ her dry skin.
      suffix: -ive means having the nature of
      done in a stealthy manner; sly and underhanded
      The two criminals who were in cahoots gave each other _____ looks behind the detective's back.
      suffix: -able means capable of
      Her dedication and ability to rehabilitate the injured is _____.
      suffix: -ology means study of
      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.
      suffix: -ize means to subject to an action
      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.
      suffix: -tion means action of, state of
      the act or process of changing
      Scientists research gene _____ in fruit flies to see how genes change from one generation to the next.
      suffix: -escence means state of
      the state of being outdated
      With the advent of the personal computer, the typewriter has been in _____ for many years.
      suffix: -ity means state of being
      the state or condition of being the same in power, value, or rank; equality
      Women and minorities continue to fight for _____ in the workplace.
      suffix: -ism means state or doctrine of
      faith in the practical approach
      Her _____ has helped her start her own business and maintain it for many years.
      suffix: -ive means having the nature of
      something that stirs up an action
      His _____ speech caused many to support his campaign.
      suffix: -ile means pertaining to
      childish, silly, immature
      Based on Jared's _____ behavior, one would think he is a teenager rather than a father of two.
      suffix: -ify means to make
      to make right; to correct
      I tried to _____ the situation by seating the two employees in different departments.
      suffix: -less means without
      harsh; unmoved by pity; unstoppable
      I was _____ with my athletic training when I was preparing for the Regionals.
      suffix: -ate means to make
      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

Add your own comment

Ask a Question

Have questions about this article or topic? Ask
150 Characters allowed