In the quizzes on prefixes we learnt what happens to root words when a prefix is added at their beginning. Here, we learn about words which change character when we add some letters (or groups of letters) at their ends. These letters are known as SUFFIXES.
The adjective PRIVATE can be converted into the noun PRIVACY by changing its ending to ACY. The same word can also be converted into the verb PRIVATISE by changing its ending to ISE. Similarly, one can convert the noun MUSIC into the adjective MUSICAL by changing its ending to ICAL. ACY, ISE and ICAL are suffixes and they have meanings of their own which help to change the meaning of the word they are added to.
There are a number of suffixes that can be added to root words to change them into words belonging to other parts of speech. Words such as CARE can have two different suffixes added. CARE is a root word and it is a noun. By adding FUL it can be changed to CAREFUL, an adjective. By adding LESS it can be changed to CARELESS, also an adjective. Remember that CARE can also form words such as CARETAKER and CAREFREE, but they are not suffixed words. They are compound words formed from two other words. Another example is BOYISH, an adjective, formed by adding the suffix ISH to BOY and BOYHOOD, a noun, formed by adding suffix HOOD to BOY.
Some of the words discussed are words that are formed by just adding the suffixes without any change. Most often the meaning of the root word and the meaning of the suffix give a hint as to the meaning of the newly formed word. For instance, the suffix LY means 'for every' and when you make the word MONTHLY it means once a month or every month. Likewise, LY also means ‘like’ and when you make the word CHILDLIKE it means like a child. Take this quiz and learn more about suffixes.