You are on page 1of 9

Using Suffixes

Lesson 1. Ten Powerful Suffixes


Lesson 2. Ten Additional Powerful Suffixes

A suffix is a letter or group of letters placed at the end of a word to change its grammatical
function, tense, or meaning. Suffixes can be used to create a verb from a noun or adjective or an
adjective from a verb, for example. They can change a word's tense as well; "-ed" can make a
present-tense verb into a past participle, for instance. They can even change a word's meaning;
the suffix "-ette," for example, can make a word into its diminutive: "kitchen" into "kitchenette."

Just as recognizing a small number of prefixes can help you figure out many unfamiliar words, so
knowing a few common suffixes can help you build a more powerful vocabulary.

Lesson 1. Ten Powerful Suffixes

Test 1: Applying Suffixes


Test 2: Matching Synonyms

Below are ten useful suffixes. Read through the chart and examples. To reinforce your study,
complete the self-tests that follow.

Suffix Meaning Variations Examples

1. -ate to make marked by alienate, regulate, passionate, affectionate

2. -en to make weaken, moisten

3. -ism the quality or practice of absolutism, baptism

-ition
4. -ation the act or condition of allegation, affirmation commotion recognition
-tion

5. -ty the state of -ity modesty, security worker

6. -er one that does or deals with -ar teacher, scholar, furrier, bettor
-ier
-or

7. -an one that does or deals with comedian, historian

8. -al resembling or pertaining to natural, accidental

9. -ous full of -ious perilous, gracious, vicious

10. -able capable of being -ible lovable, affordable, reversible

Test 1: Applying Suffixes


Each of the following phrases contains an italicized word. Based on the meaning of its suffix,
select the closest synonym. Circle your response.

1. combustible rubbish

a. unbreakable b. able to burst c. affordable d. flammable

2. pastoral scenes

a. clerical b. attractive c. rural d. homely

3. a partisan of the rebellion

a. flag b. supporter c. sign d. result

4. a palatial home

a. magnificent b. modest c. formal d. enjoyable


5. the collegiate atmosphere

a. churchlike b. friendly c. cooperative d. academic

6. assiduity in studies

a. alacrity b. cleverness c. diligence d. laziness

7. a country of pedestrians

a. scholars b. walkers c. shopkeepers d. students

8. an abstemious eater

a. aloof b. idle c. absent-minded d. sparing

9. perilous practices

a. commonplace b. rare c. dangerous d. useless

10. deleterious effects


a. good b. neutral c. bad d. delightful

Answers to Using Suffixes Lesson 1 Test 1:

Test 2: Matching Synonyms


Based on your knowledge of suffixes, match each of the numbered words with the closest
synonym. If in doubt, refer to the root word that follows each numbered word.

1. culpable a. blameworthy

(Root word: Latin "culpa," blame)

2. parity b. injurious

(Root word: Latin "par," equal)

3. amenable c. everlasting

(Root word: French "amener," to lead to)

4. mendacious d. reversion to type

(Root word: Latin "mendax," dishonest)

5. sempiternal e. equality

(Root word: Latin "semper," always)

6. nihilism f. to chastise; censure

(Root word: Latin "nihil," nothing)

7. atavism g. willing

(Root word: Latin "atavus," remote)

8. fealty h. total rejection of law

(Root word: French "fealté," fidelity)

9. castigate i. lying; false

(Root word: Latin "castus," chaste)

10. noxious j. faithfulness

(Root word: Latin "noxa," harm)


Answers to Using Suffixes Lesson 1 Test 2:

Lesson 2. Ten Additional Powerful Suffixes

Test 1: Matching Synonyms


Test 2: Applying Suffixes

The following ten suffixes will help you understand countless additional words. After you read
through the suffixes and their definitions, complete the two self-tests at the end of the lesson.

Suffix Meaning Examples

1. -esque in the manner of; like Lincolnesque

2. -aceous resembling or having carbonaceous

3. -ic associated with democratic

4. -age act or process of; quantity or measure marriage; coverage; footage

5. -itis inflammation tonsillitis

6. -ish similar to; like a foolish; babyish

7. -less without guiltless; helpless

8. -ship occupation or skill; condition of being authorship; penmanship; friendship

9. -ian a person who is, does, or participates in comedian

10. -ferous bearing or conveying odoriferous

Test 1: Matching Synonyms


Based on your knowledge of suffixes, match each of the numbered words with its closest
synonym. Write your answer in the space provided.

1. waspish a. inattentive, sloppy _____

2. fellowship b. egotistic _____


3. angelic c. distance _____

4. mileage d. huge _____

5. picturesque e. eternal _____

6. curvaceous f. irritable _____

7. titanic g. voluptuous _____

8. careless h. companionship _____

9. selfish i. innocent _____

10. timeless j. colorful _____

Answers to Using Suffixes Lesson 2 Test 1:

Test 2: Applying Suffixes


Each of the following phrases contains an italicized word. Based on the meaning of its suffix,
select the closest synonym. If in doubt, refer to the root word listed in the right-hand column.
Circle your response.

1. auriferous mineral Root Word

a. containing gold

b. extremely hard
Latin "aurum," gold
c. having an odor

d. very common

2. conical shape Root Word

a. humorous; amusing

b. like a cone
Greek "konos," cone
c. spherical

d. rigid
3. suffering from carditis Root Word

a. eye infection

b. a tin ear
Greek "kardia," heart
c. inflammation of the heart

d. stiff joints

4. graceful Romanesque

a. architectural style

b. departure

c. essay

d. apology

5. olivaceous color

a. oily

b. deep green

c. faded

d. attractive

6. frightful carnage Root Word


a. journey

b. slaughter
Latin "carnis," flesh
c. scene

d. sensuality

7. satanic nature

a. evil

b. cheerful

c. shiny

d. generous

8. admirable craftsmanship

a. display

b. individual

c. shop

d. artfulness

9. veracious remarks Root Word


a. vivid

b. vicious
Latin "verus," true
c. windy

d. truthful

10. painful appendicitis

a. news

b. surgery

c. inflammation of the appendix

d. removal of the appendix

Answers to Using Suffixes Lesson 2 Test 2: