List of Suffixes:
45+ Useful Word Endings

The alphabetical list of suffixes on this page gives you important information about the meanings and uses of different word endings in English. Suffixes show where to use a word in a sentence, when something happened, whether there are one or more things, etc.

Some suffixes identify nouns, adjectives, adverbs, and verbs. (These can also be used to change the part of speech: add ‘-ment’ to ‘govern’ to change it from a verb to a noun, so it can take a different place in a sentence.)  Other common suffixes show tenses, plurals, and comparisons. 

To keep this page from being extremely long, explanations of each type of suffix, a second grouping, by type of suffix, along with more examples, have been moved to Suffix List Arranged by Use. The links to each section in the list will take you to the correct part of that page.

The alphabetical list gives each suffix, its use (and its meaning when there is a specific meaning), and 1-3 examples. (If its use is to show the word's part of speech, it will just say Adj, N, V, etc., not say "shows that this word is an adjective " (or noun, or verb.)

Several suffixes have two listings because they have more than one use, and some of the listings actually cover two related uses. For example, -en is an irregular past participle ending for verbs like to eat and to write.

Those past participles can also be used as adjectives (a half-eaten apple or a written test.) -En can also be added to nouns or adjectives to make them into verbs: to brighten, lengthen, straighten, or whiten.

When you know these word-building suffixes, you can guess the part of speech (the role) of a new word, and how to use it correctly.

Study the examples below. If any words are new to you, do you recognize any parts? Can you figure out their meanings? 

Many of these are cognates-- close relatives-- to words in French, Spanish, Italian and Portuguese. For example,

  • English            Spanish              English           Spanish 
  • clarity                 la claridad            visible              visible
  • to clarify             clarificar               visibly               visiblemente
  • clarification        la clarificación     visibility            la visibilidad   
  • English-     Spanish
  • clarity-          la claridad
  • to clarify-      clarificar
  • clarification- la clarificación
  • visible-          visible
  • visibly-           visiblemente
  • visibility-        la visibilidad

If you know that the English suffix ‘-ity’ is like the Spanish ‘-idad’, or ‘-ify’ like “-ificar’, you can recognize many other words with the same suffix. (Do remember that the way we use the words in English may be different, though the basic sense is usually similar.) Watch for examples of other cognates below. 

Organized? organization? organize? Check your suffix skills:

Organized? organization? organize? Check your suffix skills: Can you fill in the blanks with the right form of 'organize'? The ___________ needs money, so they will ____________  a fund-raiser. (etc.)

Alphabetical List of Suffixes

Use the links below to go straight to the explanation for that suffix use (and the back button to come back to this page.) . The suffix list is right below them.

Section abbreviations and links  for the suffix list:        

            Adj: for Adjectives          Adv: for Adverbs,      

     CP: Suffixes for Comparison ,    N: for Nouns,   

NP: for Nouns -- Groups of People         

PT: for Plurals or Tenses        V: for Verbs

also: pl= plural, 3ps= 3rd person singular

Section abbreviations & links  for the suffix list:        

  Adj: for Adjectives          

Adv: for Adverbs,      

     CP: Suffixes for Comparison ,    

N: for Nouns,   

NP: for Nouns -- Groups of People         

PT: for Plurals or Tenses        


pl= plural, 3ps= 3rd person singular,

V: for Verbs

  1. -able: Adj (able)-- dependable, valuable
  2. -al: Adj-- original, typical
  3. -an: NP (belonging to; see -ian)-- Korean, Mexican
  4. -ance: N (see -ant 1)-- reliance, significance 
  5. -ancy: N (see -ant 1)-- constancy 
  6. -ant 1: Adj-- constant, reliant, significant
  7. -ant 2: NP-- attendant, participant
  8. -ar: NP (person who __; see -er 2)-- beggar
  9. -ary: Adj-- primary, secondary
  10. -ate: V-- coordinate, differentiate
  11. -ed: Adj or tense (PT)-- bored, coordinated, tired
  12. -ee: NP (person who receives an action)--nominee, refugee
  13. -en 1: Adj or tense (PT)-- eaten, written
  14. -en 1: V (to make __)-- lengthen, tighten
  15. -ence: N (see -ent 1)-- influence, persistence
  16. -ency:  N (see -ent1)-- efficiency, emergency
  17. -ent 1: Adj-- efficient, persistent
  18. -ent 2: NP-- resident
  19. -er 1: CP (Adj)-- busier, taller
  20. -er 2: NP (person who __)-- baker, consumer, teacher
  21. -es 1: pl-PT (N; see -s 1)-- candies, dishes, toes
  22. -es 2: 3ps, PT (see -s 2)-- fixes, washes
  23. -est: CP (superlative adj)-- busiest, tallest
  24. -fication: N (see -fy)-- modification, simplification
  25. -ful: Adj (full of)-- resourceful stressful
  26. -fy, -ify: V (to make__ )-- classify, modify, simplify
  27. -ian: NP (see -an)-- Brazilian, musician
  28. -ible: Adj (able)-- eligible, visible
  29. -ic: Adj-- basic, sympathetic
  30. -ing: Adj or tense (PT)-- boring, frightening
  31. -ion: N (see -sion & -tion)-- erosion, resolution
  32. -ish: Adj (similar to)-- boyish, Irish
  33. -ism: N-- communism, federalism
  34. -ist: NP (group member)-- chemist, communist, federalist
  35. -ity: N-- diversity, security
  36. -ive: Adj-- excessive, productive
  37. -ize: V-- characterize, organize
  38. -less: Adj (without)-- effortless, helpless
  39. -logy: N (study of)-- archeology, geology
  40. -ly: Adv-- basically, typically, usually
  41. -ment: N-- assignment, judgment
  42. -ness: N-- awareness, tiredness
  43. -or: NP (person who __; see -er 2)-- doctor, sailor
  44. -ous: Adj-- ambiguous, enormous
  45. -s 1: pl-PT (N)-- clocks, streets, trees
  46. -s 2: 3ps, PT--  eats, thinks
  47. -ship: N-- authorship, relationship
  48. -sion: N-- expansion, vision
  49. -tion: N-- classification, reaction
  50. -y: Adj (presence of)-- cheery, noisy, rainy

Note: All the suffixes labeled 'Aj' make words into adjectives (or show that the word is an adjective). The 'Adv' suffixes mark adverbs, 'Ns' mark nouns, and 'Vs' mark verbs. Their meanings are discussed in each section.

CP suffixes are used for adjective comparisons, and PT suffixes for plurals of nouns as well as for past tenses, continuous tenses, and the third person singular of the present tense, as well as to show plurals of nouns. Again, for a more complete explanation see each section below.

If you want to teach suffixes (alone or along with prefixes and roots) there are several helpful pdf lesson packets (with the information from this and other pages, as well as teaching suggestions and games) on the Root, Prefix, and Suffix Worksheets page. The basic suffix packet is free; the complete one or combination bundles are inexpensive-- and have lots of time-saving teaching ideas.

Go to Suffix List by Use for an explanation and more examples of each type of suffix, as well as to see all the suffixes of each type together. (I think that makes it easier to understand and learn them.) Practice SuffixesWord Families, Word Family Practice, and Word Formation Examples & Exercises provide more practice with suffixes that show parts of speech.

HomeRoots, Prefixes, and Suffixes> List of Suffixes.

Organized?... Answer

The organization needs money, so they will organize a fund-raiser. Mary should plan it; she’s the most organized.

After ‘the,’ we need a noun: organization. After the modal verb ‘will,’ we need the base (infinitive) form of a verb: organize. Then we need an adjective describing Mary. ‘Organized’ (from the past participle of the verb) will work there. (We could also say "Mary is a real organizer!")

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Be sure to check out Word Families for an explanation of how roots, prefixes, and suffixes work together and the parts of speech formed by different suffixes.

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