English Grammar Simple Guide to Suffixes


NOUNS
Nouns perform the function of naming. Nouns name persons, places animals or things, as well as groups, ideas and qualities. In a sentence, nouns can be subjects, objects, or appositives.
• -acy, -cy
o Noun: state or quality
 privacy: the state of being alone
 priv + acy
 infancy: the state of being a baby or young child
 in + fan + cy
• -age
o Noun: activity, or result of action
 courage : having the spirit to overcome fear
 cour + age
• -al

o Noun: action, result of action
 referral : the action of directing a person to another place, person or thing
 re + ferr + al
• -an
o Noun: person
 artisan : a craftsperson
 arti + san
• -ance, -ence
o Noun: action, state, quality or process
 resistance : the action of opposing something
 re + sist + ance
 independence: the state of not being under the control of others, free, self-governing
 in + de + pend + ence
• -ancy, -ency
o Noun: state, quality or capacity
 vacancy : an empty room or position
 vac + ancy
 agency: the capacity to exert power or influence, a position or person that performs a function
 ag + ency
• -ant, -ent
o Noun: an agent, something that performs the action
 disinfectant : an agent that destroys germs, somthing that cleans
 dis + in + fect + ant
 dependent: a thing supported by another, a thing determined by another
 de + pend + ent
• -ate
o Noun: state, office, fuction
 candidate : a person nominated for an office or position
 candid + ate
• -ation
o Noun: action, resulting state
 specialization : the result of being distinguished by one quality or ability
 spec + ial + iz + ation

• -dom
o Noun: place, state of being
 wisdom : possessing knowledge
 wis + dom

• -er, -or
o Noun: person or thing that does something
 porter : a person who carries things
 port + er
 collector: a person who collects or gathers things
 col + lect + or

• -ful
o Noun: an amount or quanity that fills
 mouthful : an amount that fills the mouth
 mouth + ful

• -ian, an
o Noun: related to, one that is
 pedestrian : a person who walks
 ped + estr + ian
 human: a person
 hum + an
• -ia
o Noun: names, diseases
 phobia : an illogical fear of something
 phob + ia
• -iatry
o Noun: art of healing
 psychiatry : branch of medicine that deals with the mind and emotions
 psych + iatry
• -ic, ics
o Noun: related to the arts and sciences
 arithmetic : a branch of math that usually deals with non-negative numbers
 arithm + et + ic
 economics: the social science related to studying business
 eco + nom + ics
• -ice
o Noun: act
 malice : the desire to do evil
 mal + ice
• -ing
o Noun: material made for, activity, result of an activity
 flooring : a material made for floors
 floor + ing
 swimming: the activity of swimming or moving through water
 swim(m) + ing
 building: the result of making a structure
 build + ing
• -ion
o Noun: condition or action
 abduction : the action of carrying someone away by force
 ab + duct + ion
• -ism
o Noun: doctrine, belief, action or conduct
 formalism : a belief in sticking to prescribed forms or artistic styles
 form + al + ism
• -ist
o Noun: person or member
 podiatrist : a foot doctor
 pod + iatr + ist
• -ite
o Noun: product or part
 graphite : a black material used in making pencils
 graph + ite
• -ity, ty
o Noun: state or quality
 lucidity : clear thinking
 luc + id + ity
 novelty: something new or unusual
 nov + el + ty
• -ive
o Noun: condition
 native : a person born in a specific place
 nat + ive

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