We have learnt that when some letters are added before a word a new word is formed. Similarly, when some letters are added after a word a new word is also formed. Letters added before words are called a prefix and letters added after words are called a suffix. The new word formed by adding the prefix or the suffix will have a new meaning derived from, and relating to, the original word.
The list of suffixes that can be added is fairly long. Each of the suffixes has a meaning and that meaning is transferred to the new word with the support of the root word. Here are some example:
NESS is added to LIGHT to form LIGHTNESS. NESS is the suffix which means 'state of being' and hence LIGHTNESS means a state of being light.
The meaning of suffix IFY is to ‘make’ or ‘become’ as in BEAUTY-BEAUTIFY or DEITY-DEIFY.
The meaning of suffix OUS is ‘to be characterised by’, as in HAZARD-HAZARDOUS or WONDER-WONDROUS.
The meaning of suffix ESS is ‘female’ as in HEIR-HEIRESS or ACTOR-ACTRESS.
You will notice that sometimes no alterations are made to the word and the new word is formed just by placing the root word and the suffix next to each other. However, as in the case of BEAUTIFY or ACTRESS, a change is made in the sense that the word is formed after removing some letters from the root word and adding the suffix. Thus, some of the suffixes are such that the root word needs to be altered to form the new word along with the suffix.
The only way to learn how suffixes are to be added is to practise, use the words in sentences and understand their meanings. Play this quiz and learn more about suffixes and some of the new words which can be formed by adding them.