Friday, September 27, 2013

Word Parts ~ Suffixes

     I'll try to suppress my enthusiasm for suffixes in this week's post, but I hope you'll understand if I get carried away.

     Suffixes (Suf means "after") are added to the end of a root or existing word. Suffixes (like prefixes) are not words in their own right. They cannot stand on their own in a sentence. When typed, a hyphen typically precedes them.
Their beauty is twofold:
  • they give new meaning to an existing word; and,
  • they indicate certain parts of speech
     For example:
Noun                                Suffix (Meaning)                             Adjective          
fate, sin                              -ful (full of)                                      fateful, sinful                                      
patriot                                -ic (one having the character of)      patriotic                          
sweaty                               -y (characterized by)                        sweaty
manage                              -able (capable of, able to be)           manageable
fiction                                -al (relating to)                                 fictional
child                                  -ish (of, relating to, being)                childish

     The suffix: -ion (pronounced shun) indicates the word's part of speech is a Noun. Words ending in
-ion, -tion, or -sion means that the given word will have in its definition in the act or process of; state or condition of. Using the word production, I can deduce that it's a noun, and that it's the process of producing. Here are a few others you can try to deduce their meanings: hydration, diversion, expansion, fusion, or orientation.

    As mentioned in last week's Post (please see Word Parts ~ Prefixes), once learned, these word parts help in understanding the meaning of words you don't know. Analyzing a new word for its meaning in this way should be confirmed with your dictionary.

Consider these handy reference books available at Amazon or learn more about prefixes and suffixes on the web at

Once again I ask: Are you surprised at how many words you knew?