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.
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.
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.
“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 That means unpublished authors may never know if their writing is good enough to be publishable.”
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.
1. To agree is have the same opinion as someone else. Agreeable people are pleasant and easy to get along with. An agreement is a decision between two or more people, often a written document stating what each will do. A disagreement is when people do not agree about some idea or problem. Three of these sentences use these words correctly. Which one does NOT?
Yesterday we signed the purchase agreement for the property we want to buy.
We agreed to pay Mr. Brown $150,000 if it passes all the necessary inspections.
He agreeing to clean up the weeds in the back and fix the fence
Mr. Brown is a very agreeable man, so it was easy to settle a minor disagreement about the payment schedule.
2. Category is a noun meaning a group of similar things. To categorize is to describe something and identify what kind of group it belongs with. So categorization is
things that belong together.
to decide whether people should get together or not.
. the process of arranging things (or ideas) into categories.
the way things in a group look.
3. Maximum means the most of something. So a city could maximize park use by
making parks safer and more usable.
charging higher fees for park use.
closing the parks on weekdays.
only allowing people over age 30 to use parks.
4. ‘Minimum’ describes the smallest amount of something that is possible for some use. “We need a minimum of 100 people to rent this building for a conference.” Its adjective is ‘minimal’ and its adverb is ‘minimally.’‘To minimize’ means to reduce something’s size or cost as much as possible. ‘Minimization’ is the noun for that process: “Our goal is minimization of costs and risks.”
So which form would be correct in the following sentence?
“Drip irrigation uses a __________ amount of water-- much less than other watering methods.”
5. To reproduce means to make again or to copy. Adjectives made from it are reproducible (able to reproduce) and reproductive (related to reproduction) and the common noun is reproduction.
The invention of printing allowed large scale _____________ of books and documents.
The best word to complete this sentence is
6. Bees are important to the _________ of many plants. They carry pollen from the stamens (male _____________ organs) of one flower to the pistols (female organ) of another so that the plants can make seed.
The words to complete that sentence should be:
7. The adjective ‘just’ means fair or right. It is related to the adverb ‘justly’: a fair or right way of acting. (‘Just’ can also be an adverb meaning ‘immediately before’ or ‘only’: “I had just finished dinner when he called.” “Just a minute! Wait for me!” The questions below only ask about the meanings related to ‘right’ and ‘justice’-- a related noun.)
Which of these is a verb meaning to make right (or to try to show that someone did the right thing, or sometimes to make the margins of a document even and straight)?
8. Which of these is the adverb made from that verb that best fills in the gap in this sentence: “He was ___________ angry about the unnecessary damage.”?
9. To compose means to put together or arrange a piece of music, writing, design, etc. A related adjective is composed (arranged or put together). Nouns from the same root are composition (an arrangement of music or art, or the materials something is made from) or component (a part that is put together with others to form the whole.)
Which of those words will fit best in the blank below?
“This machine has many metal ____________ held together with strong bands.”
10. To integrate means to bring together into one whole. The related adjective is integral (belonging to and necessary to the whole) Integration is the process of bringing together into one. Integrity is another related noun, meaning a complete, honest, upright character: the same all the way through, without hidden deceit.
To disintegrate is to crumble or fall apart, break back into pieces.
So disintegration probably means
something that has crumbled and broken apart
something that will break apart unless it is fixed