The Complete List of
English Spelling Rules
9: Common English Suffixes
this series of lessons, you will learn useful spelling rules
This lesson talks about some common English suffixes. We will talk
about how suffixes work, how they are spelled, and how they
will help you to understand
English words and how they are used in sentences.
a free worksheet + answer key.
is a group of letters that comes at the end of a word
and has a specific meaning. There are many suffixes in English, but in
this lesson we will focus on ten of the most common.
We will look at the suffixes in groups because, in addition to their
meaning, suffixes also can tell you what part
you are looking at.
We will start with nouns
The first two pictures in this article show scientists
The first picture is probably of a physicist
Perhaps the second picture is of a chemist
or a geneticist
Do you see the pattern? Words that end in -ist are always nouns, and
this suffix means "a person who does an action" or "a person who
believes in." There are many words with this suffix, but here is a list
of some common ones:
Unfortunately, these two people are having an argument
The suffix -ment
tells you that the word is a noun. This suffix means "action or
Here are some more common words that end in -ment
is very evident!
You will find many words in English that end in -ness
This suffix means "state of being" or "quality."
Here are some of the most common words with this ending. Remember that
you will find many more of them, too:
It is important to have some strong friendships
even if you do not have lots of friends.
The suffix -ship
always indicates a noun, and it means "state or condition of."
Here are some very common words with this suffix:
You can find lots of information
is another extremely common noun suffix. It also means "a state of
being." You will also find many words that end in slight variations of
this suffix, including, -sion
or simply -ion
However, the most common is -tion
Here are some common words with this suffix:
You can check your calendar to see when you are available
When you see a word in English that ends in -able
you will know that you are looking at an adjective
. The suffix -able
also appear as -ible
and they both mean "can be done."
Here are some more common words that end in -able
Sometimes we see signs that warn us about dangerous
Words that end in -ious
always adjectives. These suffixes mean "full of" or "having the quality
There are many words with this suffix in English. Here are some of the
Our dog is harmless
He is so sweet! He would never hurt anyone.
The suffix -less
tells you that the word is an adjective and this suffix means "without."
You will find lots of words with this suffix, but here are some of the
She hopes that her children will help her organize
the living room!
When you see a word that ends in -ize
you know that you are looking at a verb
There are many verb suffixes in English, but this is one of the most
common. The suffix -ize
in British English) most often means "become."
Here are some of the most common English verbs with this suffix:
Lee worked hard all year. Now she finally
has some time to relax.
When you see a word that ends in -ly
it is usually an adverb
, but not always. The -ly
suffix means "in what way."
You will find this suffix in many adverbs, but here are some of the
most common examples:
So, let's review what we have learned about common English suffixes:
||Part of Speech
||a person who
does an action
||action or process
||state of being
||state of being
||can be done
||in what way
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