Suffixes

Intro

A suffix is a word part added to the end of a base word and has its own meaning. Therefore, it changes the meaning of the base word.

*Sometimes a letter may be dropped from a base word.
ex. sense —> sensible

*Sometimes the final consonant of the base word may be doubled.
ex. plan —> planner

Here are the meanings of some suffixes:
-less: without
-er/-or: a person or thing that does something
-ous: full of; having

For example you can add “-less” to the base word “rest” to make “restless”.
Based upon the suffix meaning, “restless” means without rest.

Sample Problem

Based upon the suffix meanings listed above, what are the meanings of the following words?

1) effortless
2) dancer
3) joyous
4) elevator
5) gracious

Solution

1) Because the suffix “-less” means “without”, you can infer that “effortless” means without effort.

2) Because the suffix “-er” means “a person or thing that does something”, you can infer that “dancer” means a person who dances.

3) Because the suffix “-ous” means “full of”, you can infer that “joyous” means full of joy.

4) Because the suffix “-or” means “a person or thing that does something”, you can infer that “elevator” means something that moves up and down.

5) Because the suffix “-ous” means “full of”, you can infer that “gracious” means full of grace.

**Notice: “Elevator” and “gracious” are words in which the “-e” was dropped prior to adding the suffix. These base words are “elevate” and “grace”.**



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