List of Suffixes:
45+ Useful Word Endings

Use this alphabetical list of suffixes to find information about the meanings and uses of different word endings in English. 

Puzzle pieces saying act+ive, act+iv+ate,& act+iv+at+ion. Text explains how suffixes can turn 'act' into nouns (action...activation), an adjective (active)... & another verb (activate.)

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, I moved an explanation of suffix types to Suffix List Arranged by Use. It also gives more examples.

The links to each section in the list will take you to the correct part of that page.

The list of suffixes below gives each suffix, its use (and meaning when needed), and 1-3 examples. (If it shows the word's part of speech, it will say Adj, N, V, etc. (I didn't write "used to show that this word is an adjective "--or noun, etc.-- each time.)

Several suffixes have two listings because they have more than one use. Also, 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 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. Examples include 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 Spanish or related languages. For example,


1. clarity

2. to clarify

3. clarification


1. la claridad

2. clarificar

3. la clarificación


4. visible

5. visibly

6. visibility


4. visible

5. visiblemente

6. 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.)

Use the links below to go straight to the Suffix List's explanation for that use (and the back button to return here.) 

The list of suffixes is right below these links.

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

alsopl= plural, 3ps= 3rd person singular

Alphabetical List of Suffixes

  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 2: 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 -ification, -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 is the abbreviation for adjective comparisons. PT suffixes include suffixes for plurals and tenses. Again, for a more complete explanation see each section on Suffix List.

If you want to teach suffixes (alone or along with prefixes and roots), EnglishHints has several lesson packets. See Root, Prefix, and Suffix Worksheets. Packets include the information here plus teaching suggestions and games.

The basic suffix packet is free. The complete suffix pdf or combination bundles are inexpensive. They have lots of time-saving teaching ideas.

Suffix List by Use has an explanation and more examples of each type of suffix. It lets you see all the suffixes of each type together. (That grouping may make it easier to understand and learn them.)

For practice with suffixes showing parts of speech, see

More Related Pages

Shows how prefixes change meanings, with examples showing the change of meaning from compress to depress, express, impress, repress, & suppress, illustrated with puzzle pieces.

Do you wonder what a prefix means? This alphabetical listing gives about 50 of the most useful English prefixes.

'Negative prefixes like un-, in-, de-, dis-, or mis- all reverse root meanings, but they DON'T all mean the same.'
Picture of a flat earth and example of an uninformed child vs. a misinformed one.

The explanations & examples in this negative prefix list can help you use them without confusion. 

3 fish swimming in one direction and one fish going in the opposite direction. One fish comments, 'He always was a nonconformist.' (See the page for an explanation.)

Knowing a few roots & prefixes can help you figure out meanings of new words. 

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Organized?... Answers

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!")

Didn't find what you needed? Explain what you want in the search box below. (For example, cognates, past tense practice, or 'get along with.') Click to see the related pages on EnglishHints.

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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.