Use of Prefixes and Suffixes for Grade 4| English Grammar| ORCHIDS
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Prefix and Suffix

Concept: Nouns to Adjectives

What is a Root Word?

  • A root word is the main or the base part of the word. The main word is used to create another word using a prefix or a suffix.
  • To change the meaning of the word, either a prefix is added in front of a root word, or a suffix is added to the root word.
  • A suffix is a group of letters added to the root word.
Root Word
Mindmap_Make Antonyms & Synonyms

Root Words with Prefix and Suffix

For some words, both prefix and suffix can be added like the words given below.

Examples:

Root Word Prefix + Root Word Root Word +Suffix
friends unfriendly
  • friendly
  • friendship
normal abnormal
  • normality
  • normalize
mature immature
  • maturity

Adding Suffixes to the Root Word

  • If you see words with the suffix –ment, it is likely to be a noun.
  • The new word is slightly different from the root word or original word.
  • In the table below, the word with the suffix -ful has changed verbs to adjectives and the suffix -ment and -ion have changed verbs to nouns.
Suffix Words New Word
-ful Forget, use Forgetful, useful
-ment State, govern Statement, government
-ion Create Creation

How Spelling Changes When Adding Suffixes?

  • Often the suffixes cause spelling changes to the original word.
  • The letter ‘e’ is dropped off the root word to create a new word.
  • The last letter ‘e’ of a word drops when the –ion is added.

Examples:

  1. Beauty, duty + -ful 🡪 beautiful, dutiful (-y changes to –i)
  2. Heavy, ready + -ness 🡪 heaviness, readiness (-y changes to –i)
  3. Able, possible + -its 🡪 ability, possibility (le changes to li)
  4. Permit, omit +-ion 🡪 permission, omission (-t changes to ss)

Common Suffixes

Check out these common suffix examples.

Examples:

Suffix Examples of Noun
-age Village, baggage, postage
-al Arrival, burial
-ance,-ence Freedom, boredom
-ee Employee, trainee
-er,-or Driver, director
-hood Brotherhood, childhood
-ism Socialism
-ist Capitalist, socialist
-ity,-ty Equality, cruelty
-ness Happiness, kindness
  1. Adjective Suffixes:
  2. Adding a specific ending to a word can change a word from a noun to an adjective.

    Suffix Examples of Adjectives
    -able,-ible Drinkable, flexible
    -al Formal, Postal
    -en Broken, wooden
    -ful Beautiful ,useful
    -ish Spanish, childish
    -ive Active, passive
    -ian Canadian, Persian
    -less Careless, hopeless
    -ly Monthly, daily
    -ous Famous, cautious

    Example:

    This game is not playable.

    (The suffix ‘able’ forms an adjective here)

  3. Verb Suffixes:
  4. In a sentence, you use a verb to show an action. Few verb suffixes that you might use in a sentence are given below:

    Suffix Examples of Words
    -ate Complicate, irritate
    -en Harden, soften
    -if Beautify ,identify

    Example:

    1. He plays football.
    2. (The suffix ‘s’ is added to the word play)

      Example 1_Verb Suffix
    3. He played tennis.
    4. (Here the word ‘ed’ is added to make past tense)

      Example 2_Verb Suffix
    5. He had played poorly.
    6. (The word ‘ed’ is added to make a past participle.)

      Example 3_Verb Suffix
  5. Adverb Suffixes:
  6. Adverbs are important because they convey information about adjectives or verbs. Suffixes like ‘ly’ are frequently used to make adverbs. Check out these adverb suffix examples.

    Suffix Examples of Words
    -ly Easily, quickly
    -ward Inward, outward
    -wise Anticlockwise, clockwise y

    Example:

    He made a comment playfully.

    (The word ‘fully’ forms here is an adverb)

  7. Change words from Noun form to Adjectives
  8. Words can be changed from nouns to adjectives by a change in the root word. Notice some of the words have changed spelling as well when changed from the noun form to adjective.

    Examples:

    No. Root Word Noun form Adjective form
    1. Enable Ability Able
    2. Accept Acceptance Acceptable
    3. Act Action Active
    4. Beautify Beauty Beautiful
    5. Believe Belief Believable
    6. Care Care Careful
    7. Darken Dark Darkness
    8. Describe Description Describable
    9. Educate Education Educated
    10. Encourage Encouragement Encouraging

Common Mistakes:

Wrong word ending is one of the errors with the newly formed word. Remember if you do not give a correct ending, you change the word into the wrong part of speech.

Example:

Until recently, the river Ganga contained dangerous levels of pollutants.

Until recently, the river Ganga contained dangering levels of pollutants.

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