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List of Suffixes

big easy chair labelled "comfortable"

Our list of suffixes contains many of the most-commonly used suffixes in the English language. There are many more. Words are at varying degrees of difficulty.

For your convenience, we’ve also included a brief meaning and ten example words for each one.  Print the list and keep it has a handy reference tool in your notebook or on the classroom wall.

Here are screenshots of the words on our printable list:

list of suffixes,meanings and examples
list of suffixes,meanings and examples

Here's the rest of our printable list of suffixes: 

-ary: pertaining to, connected with

  • elementary
  • honorary
  • dietary
  • momentary
  • imaginary
  • budgetary
  • summary
  • dignitary
  • intermediary
  • emissary

-en: forms verbs from nouns or adjectives, or adjectives from nouns

  • lengthen
  • strengthen
  • shorten
  • moisten
  • sharpen
  • darken
  • wooden
  • woolen
  • golden
  • mistaken

-ful: full of

  • joyful
  • fearful
  • thankful
  • hopeful
  • forgetful
  • helpful
  • playful
  • useful
  • watchful
  • spoonful

-fy: to make

  • magnify
  • petrify
  • qualify
  • justify
  • amplify
  • certify
  • horrify
  • classify
  • unify
  • signify

-ic, -ac, -il, -ile: of, like pertaining to

  • comic
  • historic
  • elastic
  • poetic
  • cardiac
  • maniac
  • civil
  • fragile
  • agile
  • docile

-ish: like, pertaining to

  • English
  • Spanish
  • British
  • selfish
  • foolish
  • boorish
  • childish
  • bookish
  • reddish
  • cultish

-ist: one who makes or does

  • artist
  • dentist
  • realist
  • motorist
  • chemist
  • scientist
  • jurist
  • extremist
  • ophthalmologist
  • accompanist

-ity: stay or condition

  • activity
  • ability
  • possibility
  • generosity
  • formality
  • hospitality
  • curiosity
  • civility
  • locality
  • hostility

-ive: having the nature of

  • active
  • creative
  • effective
  • conclusive
  • instructive
  • executive
  • legislative
  • consecutive
  • secretive
  • aggressive

-ize: to cause to become

  • capitalize
  • alphabetize
  • magnetize
  • apologize
  • summarize
  • generalize
  • visualize
  • vitalize
  • dramatize
  • energize

-less :without

  • careless
  • hopeless
  • helpless
  • endless
  • fearless
  • worthless
  • sleepless
  • nameless
  • powerless
  • useless

-ology: study of, science of

  • geology
  • biology
  • technology
  • ecology
  • sociology
  • psychology
  • terminology
  • archaeology
  • theology
  • mythology

-ly: characteristic of

  • sadly
  • gladly 
  • gradually
  • timely
  • cowardly
  • bravely
  • justly
  • secondly
  • rarely
  • hourly

-ment: condition of

  • agreement
  • enjoyment
  • argument
  • retirement
  • resentment
  • replacement
  • amazement
  • assignment
  • refinement
  • embarrassment

-ness: state or condition of 

  • darkness
  • eagerness
  • fairness
  • sadness
  • happiness
  • emptiness
  • illness
  • goodness
  • likeness
  • heaviness

-ous: having the qualities of

  • dangerous
  • humorous
  • furious
  • nutritious
  • spacious
  • victorious
  • thunderous
  • nervous
  • gracious
  • courageous

-tion, -sion, -ion: state, condition, action, process or result

  • revolution
  • commendation
  • concession
  • transition
  • relation
  • starvation
  • description
  • explanation
  • temptation
  • imagination

-y: full of, somewhat, or somewhat like

  • cloudy
  • chilly
  • dusty
  • oily
  • touchy
  • faulty
  • noisy
  • cranky
  • fiery
  • glossy

Get the complete list of suffixes

Teaching Suggestions

Be sure to add your own suffixes to our lists of examples, especially if you encounter words with certain endings that are difficult for you or your students to spell correctly.

Focus on teaching one suffix at a time, especially with younger students. Ask your learners to list more words throughout the day or week that share the same suffix as you compile longer classroom lists.

As always, be sure to use new words in context. Encourage students to use the new suffix words orally and in written work.

More Resources

If you found our list of suffixes to be helpful, we think you'll also enjoy some of these lessons and teaching tips.

colorful number 10

Spelling Strategies - Students who master these ten spelling rules/strategies are sure to become better spellers! We clearly state the "rule" and provide examples of words spelled correctly when following the rule.

102 frequently misspelled words:  Study this list to boost your spelling abilities. Everybody has a few spelling glitches!

mother and son working on a spelling lesson

How to Teach Spelling - Teachers, start here! We provide key guidelines for anyone who is trying to teach spelling, regardless the age of the student.  

Here's a  step-by-step free spelling lesson about learning to spell those tricky EI/IE words. We give you lots of practice, and a huge word list to work with. Determine to master these spelling demons!

 Another Step-by-Step Lesson - This one methodically teaches when to double, and when not to double, the final consonant when adding suffixes. Free and printable.

Try our ideas for Spelling Homework -- The more practice the better! Here are 20 fabulous, flexible ideas for any list of weekly spelling words. Several ideas include input from a family helper.

Hard Spelling Words - This list includes words in which it's sometimes hard to remember if the consonants are doubled when suffixes are added. It's a great way to reinforce the Step-By-Step lesson above.

Common Core Standards - Lots of our games, worksheets and lesson plans are aligned to the Common Core State Standards. See our list.

See more pages of tips for the correct spelling of words.


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