Practice Suffixes to Multiply Your Vocabulary

Practice Suffixes

It’s worth taking time to practice suffixes. When you know common suffixes (word endings), you can understand the meanings and uses of many words you haven’t yet studied. Common suffixes like ‘-tion,’ ‘-able,’ ’-ed,’ and ‘-ify’ provide a lot of information about how to use a word as its meaning.

How suffixes change meaning-- a demonstration with maximum, maximal, maximize and minimum, etc. including definitions and an example about maximizing profits by keeping costs to a minimum.

For example, ‘to transport’ is a verb that means to carry or move something from one place to another. The related noun is ‘transportation’ (the process of moving things or people around), and related adjectives are ‘transported’ and ‘transportable.’

Sample sentences: “Public transportation using buses is much cheaper than transportation using subway trains.” “Laptop computers are more transportable than desktops, but tablets are the easiest to transport.”

(Both sentences also give examples of suffixes used for comparisons and for plurals. The comparative adjective ‘cheaper’, formed by adding ‘-er’ to ‘cheap’, and the superlative suffix: ‘easiest,’ made by adding ‘-est’ to the adjective ‘easy.’ The noun ‘bus’ is made plural by adding ‘-es’; ‘train’ by adding ‘s’.)

On this page you can practice suffixes that show parts of speech: whether a word is a noun, verb, adjective, or adverb. They are useful clues to a word’s place in a sentence, as well as to its exact meaning.

(For basic rules and examples for plural, tense, and comparative suffixes, see the bottom of the Suffix List page.  To practice verb tense suffixes, see Present Tense Verbs, Past Tense Verbs, Practice Irregular Past Tense Verbs, List of Irregular Verbs with Practice, or Present and Perfect Tense Practice.  Try a web search of English grammar sites for practice with plurals or comparatives.)

Examples of Suffix Meaning and Use 

To govern is a verb that means to rule or direct a country. There are three related adjectives:  governed, governing, governable, and a noun: government. (Notice the difference in meanings between these suffixes; it applies to many other words that use them.)

  • Many people think Canada is a well-governed country.
  • Our city’s governing body is the city council.
  • Some new nations have so many problems they seem almost ungovernable. They need wise leadership to establish stable, just governments.

More examples:

  • “I was surprised by the surprising strength of the baby’s grip.” 
  • “Many publishing companies only want to work with already-published authors. That means unpublished authors may never know if their writing is good enough to be publishable.”

Practice Suffixes for some Common Words  

Use the examples above, and your knowledge of suffixes, to choose the best answer for each question or to fill in each blank (gap.) Then press the right arrow to move on to the next question.

If you don’t already recognize these suffixes, you might want to look at the List of Suffixes and then come back to these questions. However, you can also learn a lot by guessing and then checking your answers.


See Word Formation Examples & Exercises and Word Family Practice for more examples and practice with suffixes.

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