Advanced English Grammar



English Suffixes

Most English suffixes can tell you the type of word you're dealing with. For instance, most people know that when a word ends in ly they are dealing with an adverb.

Adverbs typically tell you the how of something.

As an example, let's say that you are a nice singer. To change nice into an adverb and to say how you do something we would add one of the English suffixes -- in this case "ly" -- and say not only are you a nice singer, but that you sing (how?) nicely.

Thankfully, there aren't that many suffixes to learn in the English Language, but they are important and certain rules do apply.

Common English suffixes below show you the kind of word formed and the type of suffix they are.

Verb Suffixes

ize, ise to make criticize, hypnotize
ate to make consecrate, mitigate
en cause to become strengthen, weaken, lengthen
fy make simplify, testify, fortify
ced, cede to go, to give in intercede, recede
duc, duct to lead induct

Adverb Suffixes

ly, (y) like neatly, quietly

English Suffixes - Adjectives

able, ible capable of understandable
ac, ic like, pertaining to cardiac, metallic
acious, icious full of delicious, audacious
ant, ent full of militant, delinqent
ary, ery like, connected with ordinary, dictionary, bravery
escent becoming, in process adolescent
fic making, doing terific, scientific
iferous producing, bearing vociforous
il, ile pertaining to, capable of infantile
ive like imaginative, redemptive
less lacking timeless
oid resembling, like negroid, ovoid
ful full of stressful, resentful
ose full of verbose, morose
ous full of spacious

English Suffixes - Nouns

ation that which is justification
cy state of being democracy
eer, er, or the person who mountaineer, teacher
graph to write phonograph, lithograph
ism doctrine, belief statism
ist dealer, doer scientist
ity state of being calamity
ment act or state of refinement, confinement
ory having quality of advisory
osis condition osmosis
ous full of generous
tude state of gratitude


As seen from the above, many common English suffixes are often familiar endings to familiar words. To go to the main suffix page just click on the previous link.