Chapter 3. Word Elements – Communicative English for Engineers and Professionals

3

Word Elements

In this unit

Colours fade, temples crumble, empires fall, but wise words endure.”

 

Edward Throndike

3.1 Introduction

A study of ‘Word Elements’ plays a significant role in the field of vocabulary building. It is practically intricate for us to remember the wide range of words just by cramming them. Knowledge of the elements of a word: root/base and affix, technically known as morphemes (from the Greek word ‘morphe’) would be a much better proposition to enrich the vocabulary of professionals including the engineers-in-making.

3.2 Roots/Base: The Core of a Word

A root is the basic part of a word that comprises its main meaning and is used to form its derivatives. It is a letter or a group of letters taken from Greek or Latin language in English. Roots and bases are the original or primary words. They are added to a prefix, a suffix or a word to change its meaning or to form a new word. As you study the following chart, you can notice that the Latin or the Greek root word is often simple in meaning: Latin, anima, is ‘spirit,’ or Greek, dunamis, is ‘power.’ The table that follows lists many common roots/bases of English language, their sources (Greek/Latin) along with the shades of meanings they have acquired in English word building:

Root with its meaning Source of the root with its meaning in English Sample words

act, ag: do, act, drive

Latin, agere: to drive, lead, act

active, actor, agile, agenda

am, ami: love, like

Latin, amor : to love, amlcus: friend

amorous, amicable, amiable

anim: mind, life, spirit

Latin, anima: spirit

animal, animate

aero: air

Greek, aero: air

aerobics, aerodynamics

arch: chief

Greek, arkhos: chief, arkhein: to rule

architect, archaic, monarch

astr, aster: star

Greek, astron: stars

astrology, astronomy, disaster

annu, enni: yearly

Latin, annus: yearly

annual, perennial, annals, annuity

anthrop: man

Greek, anthropos: man, people

anthropology, anthropoid, misanthrope, philanthropist

auc, aug, aut: to originate, to increase

Latin, augere: to originate, increase

auction, augment, authentic

aud, audi, audit: hear

Latin, audire: to hear, to examine

audible, audience, auditorium, audition

bel, belli: An act or
situation of a war

Latin, bellum: war

rebel, belligerent, rebellion, bellicose

bene, ben: good, well, gentle

Latin, bene: good

benefit, benevolent, benediction, benign

bio: life

Greek, bios: life

biography, biology, antibiotic

bible, biblio: book

Greek, biblion: book

bibliophile, bibliography, biblical

brev: short

Latin, brevis: short

abbreviate, brevity, brief

cad, cap, cas, ceiv, cept, cip, capt, cid: to take, to seize, to hold

Latin, capere: to seize, to fall

cadaver, cadence, capable, occasion, casual, receive, intercept, concept, except, recipient, captive, capture, accident

carn: flesh

Latin, caro carn: flesh

carnal, carnivorous, carnival, carnation

ced, ceas, cede, ceed, cess: go, yield

Latin, cedere: to go, yield, give way

antecedent, cease, accede, precede, recede, exceed, succeed, excess, success

celer: fast

Latin, celer: fast, rapid

accelerate

cent: hundred

Latin, centum: hundred

century, centipede

chron: time

Greek, khronos: time

chronology, chronic, chronicle, synchronize

cite, cit: quote

Latin, citare: set in motion

cite, incite, citation

clam, claim: shout

Latin, clamare: to call out, shout

clamour, proclaim

cogn, gnos: know to know

Latin, cognoscere: to know

recognize, cognition, diagnose, agnostic

cord: heart

Latin, cor cord: heart

cordial, accord, record, discord

corp, corpor: body

Latin, corpus, corporis: body

corps, corpulent, corpse, corporate, corporation

cosm: universe

Greek, cosmos: universe as a well-ordered whole

cosmology, cosmopolitan

cre, cresc, crease, cret: grow

Latin, crescere: to grow

create, crèche, crescent, increase, accretion

cred: trust, believe

Latin, credo, creditum: to believe

credible, credentials, creed, credit, credulous

cour, cur, curr, curs: run, course

Latin, currere: run

discourse, occur, concur, current, cursor, cursive

dent: tooth

Latin: dens, dent: tooth

dental, dentist

derm, dermat: skin

Greek: derma: skin

epidermis, hypodermic, dermatitis

dic, dict: say, speak

Latin, dictare, dicere: to say, speak

dictate, diction, contradict, edict

doc, doct: teach, prove

Latin, docere: to teach

docile, document, doctrine, doctoral, doctor

dog, dox: thought, idea

Greek, dokein: seem, think

dogma, doxology

dec: suitable

Latin, decere: to be suitable

decent, decency

duc, duct: lead

Latin: ducere: to lead, to draw

conducive, produce, conduct, ductile

dynam: power

Greek, dunamis: power

dynamic, dynamite

electric, electro: electric

Greek , electrum: amber

electricity, hydroelectric, electromagnetic, electronic

ev, et: time, age

Latin, aevum: lifetime

medieval, eternal

fac, fact, fect, fas, fea:
make, do

Latin, facere- make, do

fact, facile, factory, manufacture, perfect, affect, fashion, feasible, feature

fer, late: bear, carry

Latin, ferre: bear, carry

confer, differ, offer, prefer, relate, collate

feign, fain: shape, make, fashion

Latin, fingere: shape, make

feign, fiction, faint, fictitious

fid: belief, faith

Latin, fidere: to trust

confide, confidence

fig: shape, form

Latin, figura: form, shape, figure

figure, configure

fix: fasten

Latin, figere: fix

fixation, affix, prefix

flu, fluct, flux: drawing flow

Latin, fluere: to flow

fluid, influence, flush, fluently, fluctuate, influx

form: shape

Latin, formare: beauty, shape, form

format, form, conform, formulate, perform, formal

fract, frag, frai: break

Latin, frangere: to break

fraction, fracture, fragment, fragile, frail, frailty

gen, gin: to give birth, kind

Greek, genus, gener : stock, race

generate, genesis, genetics, gingerly

geo: earth

Greek, ge: earth

geography, geometry, geocentric, geology

grad, gress, gree: step, go, move

Latin, gradus: step

gradual, digress, degree

graph, graf: write, draw

Greek, graphe: write, scratch, carve

graphic, biography, autograph, photography, graft

her, hes: to stick

Latin, haerere: to stick

adhere, inherent, hereditary, cohesion, hesitate

jac, ject: to throw

Latin, jacere: to throw, to lie

ejaculate, adjacent, reject, eject, project, trajectory, inject

jug, junct, just: to join

Latin, jungere: to join

juggle, conjugal, junction, justify, adjust

labor: to hit something of somebody by hand

Latin, labor: to hit something of somebody by hand

laborious, labourer, laboratory

leag, leg: law

Latin, lex: law

legal, legitimate, league, college

lect, leg, lig: choose, gather, select, read

Latin, legere: to choose

collect, legible, eligible

loco, loc: place, area

Latin, locare: to place

locomotion, location, locally, locality, allocate

log: say, speech, word, reason, study

Greek, logos: speech, word, reason

logic, biology, logical

luc, lum, lust: light

Latin, lucare: shine, Latin, lumen: light, Latin, lustrare: light-up

translucent, illuminate, luster, illustrate

man: hand, make, do

Latin, manus: hand

manage, manuscript, manual, manifest

mem: recall, remember

Latin, memor: mindful

memory, memo, memento, memorable

ment: mind

Latin, mens: mind

mental, mention

micro: very small

Greek, mikros: Very small

microwave, microphone, microorganism, microscope

min: little, small

Latin, minuere: to lessen

minute, minor

mit, miss, mission: send

Latin, mittere: put, send

admit, permit, submit, admission, permission, submission

mobile, mob, mov, mot: move

Latin, mobilis, movere: move, movable

automobile, mobilize, mobilization, remove, movable, motor, motion

mune, muni: service

Latin, munis: Service

immune, community

nasc, nat, gnant, nai: to be born

Latin, gnasci to be born

nascent, native, pregnant, naïve

nom, nym: name

Latin, nomen, nomin: name

nominate, ignominious, pseudonym

nov: new

Latin, novus: new

novice, novel, renovate, innovate

oper : work

Latin, opus: work

operate, co-operate, opus

pat, pass: feel, suffer

Latin, pati: suffer

passion, patient, passion

path: feel

Greek, pathos: feeling

sympathy, pathology

ped: foot

Latin, pes, ped: foot

impede, pedal, pedestrian, centipede

pod: foot

Greek, pous: foot

podium, tripod, podiatry, antipode

pel, puls: drive, push

Latin, pellere: to drive, push, beat

compel, dispel, expel, impulse, compulsory, repulsive

pend, pens, pond: to hang, weigh

Latin, pendere: to hang, to weigh

pendant, suspend, append, pensive, pension, respond, despondent

phan, phen, fan, phant, fant: show, make visible

Greek, phainein: show

phantom, phenomenon, fantasy

philo, phil: love

Greek, philos: loving

philosopher, philanthropy

phon: sound

Greek, phone: voice, sound

phonetic, telephone, phonograph microphone, symphony

pict: paint, show, draw

Latin, pingere: to paint

picture, depict

port: carry

Latin, portare: carry

import, export, transport

pli, ply: fold

Latin, plicare: fold

implication, application, reply, ply

pon, pos, pound: put, place

Latin, ponere: to lay down, place

opponent, postpone, expose, impose, posture, expound, impound

psych: mind

Greek, psukhe: soul, spirit

psyche, psychiatry, psychology, psychosis

puter, pute: to think

Latin, putare: to think

computer, dispute, repute

quir, quis, quest, quer: seek, ask

Latin, quaerere: seek, ask

inquire, inquisitive, question, query

rupt: break

Latin, rumpere: break

rupture, interrupt, abrupt, disrupt,

sci, scio: to know

Latin, scire: to know

conscience, conscious, omniscient

scrib, scrip: write

Latin, scribere: to write

scribble, inscribe, describe, prescribe, manuscript, script

sent, sens: feel, think

Latin, sentire: feel

sentiment, consent, resent, dissent, sense, sensory

sequ, secut, sue: follow

Latin, sequi: to follow

sequence, consequence, sequel, prosecute, consecutive, ensue, pursue

sist: to withstand, make up

Latin, sistere: to make a stand

insist, assist, persist, resist

soci: to join, companions

Latin, socialis, socius: to join, a companion

sociable, sociable, sociology

sol: alone

Latin, solus: alone, single

solo, soliloquy, solitary, isolate

solv, solu, solut: loosen, explain

Latin, solvere: to loosen, release

solve, absolve, soluble, resolution, resolute, dissolute

spec, spic, spect: look

Latin, specere: look, look at

speculate, specimen, specific, aspect, inspect, respect

sphere: ball

Greek, sphaira: ball, sphere

sphere, stratosphere, hemisphere, spheroid

spir: breath, soul

Latin, spirare: breathe

respiration, spirit, conspire, inspire, aspire, expire

stab, stat: stand

Latin, stare: to stand

establish, stable, stature, stance

strain, strict, string: bind, pull

Latin, stringere: to bind or pull tight

restrain, constraint, constrict, strict, restrict, stringent

stru, struct, stroy: build

Latin, struere: to build

structure, instruct, obstruct, destruction, construct, destroy

tact, tang, tig, ting: touch

Latin, tangere: to touch

tactile, contact, tangible, contagious, contiguous, contingent

tele: far away

Greek, tele: end

telephone, telegraph, telegram, telescope, telecast, telepathy

tend, tent, tens: stretch

Latin, tendere: to stretch

extend, contend, pretend, extent, tension, pretence

tain, ten, tent, tin: hold, keep, have

Latin, tenere: to hold

retain, contain, abstain, pertain, tenure, detention, retentive, content, pertinent, continent

term: end, boundary, limit

Latin, terminus: limit, boundary

exterminate, terminal

terr: earth

Latin, terra: earth

territory, terrestrial

test: see, witness

Latin, testis: witness

testament, detest, testimony, attest, testify

therm: heat

Greek, therme: heat

thermometer, theorem, thermal, thermos bottle, thermostat

tor, tors, tort: twist

Latin, torquere: twist

torture, retort, extort, distort, contort, torsion, tortuous

tract, trai, treat: pull, draw

Latin, trahere: pull

attract, tractor, traction, extract, trailer, retreat, subtract

uni: one

Latin, unus: one

union, uniform, universal, unity, unanimous

vac: empty

Latin, vacare: to be empty

vacate, vacuum, evacuate, vacation, vacant

ven, vent: come

Latin, venire: to come

convene, venue, avenue, invent, convent, event, prevent

very, ver: true

Latin, venus: true

very, verdict, verity, verify

verb, verv: word

Latin, verbum: word

verbose, verbalize, verify

vers, vert: turn, change

Latin, vertere: to turn

diversion, reverse, versatile, convert, advertise, introvert

vid, vie, vis: see

Latin, videre: to see; Latin, videre: to separate

video, evident, review, preview, visible, revise, vision

vit, viv: live

Latin, vivere: to live

vitality, vital, vitamins, revive, survive, vivid

voc, voke: call

Latin, vocare: call, voice

vocation, invocation, advocate, vocal, evoke, provoke, revoke

volv, volt, vol: roll, turn

Latin, volvere: to roll, turn

revolve, revolt, evolution, voluble, voluminous

3.3 Affixes

Some words are formed with the help of affixes (a prefix or a suffix). They were originally words them selves but they are now letters or groups of letters added to words or to roots to create new words.

3.3.1 Prefix: The Frontal Element

Prefixes [pre (before) + fix (fasten) = fasten before] are groups of letters placed before words or roots. Prefixes modify or extend the meanings of words and roots. Following is the table that lists commonly used prefixes and sample vocabulary:

Prefixes Meaning Sample words

A-, Ac-, Ad-, Af-, Ag-, Al-, An-, Ap-, As-, At-

to, toward, near, in addition to

aside, afloat, accord, acclaim, adapt, admire, affix, affair, aggression, aggravate, alleviate, allow, annex, annihilate, apparition, appear, associate, attend, attain

A-, An-

without

amoral, asexual, apart, atheist, anaemic, anaesthetic

Ab-, Abs-

away from, off

abdicate, abduct, abnormal, absent, absolve, abstain

Acer-, Acid-, Acri-

bitter, sour, sharp, keen

acerbic, acid, acrid, acrimony

Acu-

sharp

acute, acupuncture, accurate, acupressure

After-

later

aftercare, afterbirth, afterwards, afternoon

Agri-, Agro-

pertaining to fields or soil

agriculture, agribusiness, agro industry

Ali-, Alter-

other

alias, alibi, alternate, altercation

Ambi-

on both sides

ambiguous, ambivalent, ambitious, ambiance

Ambul-

to walk

ambulatory, ambulance

Ante-

before

anterior, antecedent, antedate

Anti-

against

antiseptic, antidote, antibacterial, antibiotic

Aq-

water

aquatic, aquaculture, aquamarine

Auto-

self

automotive, autonomy, autocracy, autograph

Bar-

weight, pressure

barograph, barometer, barbarian, barbecue

Bi-

two

biannual, bicycle, biweekly, bilingual, binocular

Be-

on, around, over, about, make, cause, affect

befall, befriend, beside, become, before

By-

subordinate

bypass, byproduct, byline, bygone

Cat-, Cata-, Cath-

down, with

category, catalogue, cataract, catabolism, catholic, catharsis

Cis

on the side

cisalpine, cistern

Circum-

around

circumstances, circumference, circumlocution, circumspect

Co-, Cog-, Col-, Com-, Con-, Cor-

together, with

coexist, coincident, cognate, cognition, collide, colleague, combat, combine, connect, conceive, correlate, correct

Contra-

against

contradict, contraband, contravene

Counter-

back

counter-attack, counterfoil, counterbalance

Cyber-

related to the Internet

cybercafé, cybercrime, cybernetic

De-

to do the opposite, down (negative)

debar, declare, decline, devaluate, debase, descend

Demi-

half

demigod, demitasse, demiparadise

Di-, Dia-, Dif-, Dis-

apart, separate, two, opposite, not

diphthong, dioxide, dialogue, diagonal, differ, diffuse, dissuade, disable, dissolve, disarm

Deci-, Deca-

ten, ten times

decimate, decimal, decennial, decade

Dec-, Dign-

suitable

decent, decease, dignity, dignitary

Du-

two

duplicate, duplex

E-

related to electronic

e-mail, e-ticket, e-commerce

Ex-

out, out of, from

expel, exclude, exhale, express, extort

Ex-

former

ex-captain, ex-president

En-, Em-

put into

enclose, enact, encircle, empower, emission

Epi-

upon, beside, over

epilogue, epicure, epitome, epicentre, epiglottis

Equi-

equal

equitable, equivalent, equilibrium, equilateral

Eu-

form well, easily

eulogize, euthanasia, euphoria, eucalyptus

Extra-

beyond

extraordinary, extra-large, extracurricular, extraterrestrial

For-

away, off

forbid, forbear, forward, forswear, forlorn

Fore-

before

foretell, forecast, forehead, foresight

Hecto-, Hect-

hundred

hectogram, hectare

Hepta-

seven

heptagon, heptameter

Homo-

same

homonym, homogeneous

Hetero-

different

heterodox, heterogeneous

Hexa-

six

hexagon, hexameter, hexagram

Hyper-

extreme

hyperactive, hypersensitive, hyperbole, hypercorrect

Hypo-

too little

hypothermia, hypothesis, hypodermic, hypothetical

Il-, Im-, In-, Ir

not, in

illiterate, illegible, imperfect, impossible, inaction, insecure, irresistible, irresponsible

Inter-

between

interject, intermingle

Intra-

within

intramuscular, intravenous

Intro-

into, within, inward

introvert, introspection, introduce

Infra-

beneath

infrared, infrastructure

Kilo-

thousand

kilometre, kilogram

Mal-, Male-, Mali-

bad, ill, evil

malfunction, malnutrition, malefactor, malevolent, malignant, malicious

Mega-

huge

megastar, megaship, megawatt, megaphone

Meta-

changing

metaphysics, metabolism, metaphor, metamorphosis

Mid-

middle

midday, mid-air, mid-path

Milli-

thousand

millisecond, milligram, millibar

Mis-

wrong

misunderstand, misbehave, misspell, mistake

Mini-

small

mini bus, mini skirt

Mono-

one

monologue, monotheism, monomania

Multi-

many

multicolour, multistorey, multifacet

Neo-

new

neophyte, neo-classical

Non-

not

nonsense, non-vegetarian, nonstop, nontoxic

Ob-, Oc-, Of-, Op-

toward, against, in the way

obtain, object, obtuse, occupy, oculist, offend, offence, oppose, oppress

Octo-, Oct-

eight

octopus, octane, octet

Omni-

all

omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent

Out-

faster

outlive, outgrow, outlook, output

Over-

excessive

overactive, overwork, overdo, overact

Pan-

all

panacea, pandemonium, pantheon, pan-american

Para-

beside

paragraph, paradox

Penta-, Pent-

five

pentagon, pentacle

Per

through, by, utterly, badly

persecute, perpetual, perfect

Poly-

many

polygamy, polythene, polyglot, polytechnic

Post-

after

postpone, postman, postwar, postscript

Pre-

before

prepare, precept, precaution, prefix

Peri-

around

periscope, perigee

Quadri-, Quadr-

four

quadrilateral, quadrille, quadruple

Pro-

for, forward

propose, project, provide, pronoun, profess

Pseudo-

false

pseudonym, pseudo-classical

Re-

back, again

revive, regain, refresh, rebel, revise

Retro-

backward

retrospect, retroactive, retrograde

Se-

apart, move away from

separate, secede, secure, select

Self-

for oneself

self-help, self-interest, self-confidence

Semi-

half

semiconductor, semicircle, semidetached

Sub-, Suc-, Suf-, Sup-, Sur-, Sus-, Sug-, Sum-

under, beneath, near, from below, secretly, above, up, secondary

submarine, subside, succeed, succumb, suffice, suffocate, support, suppose, survive, surface, sustain, suspect, suggest, suggestible, summon, summarize

Super-, sur

over, above

superman, superfast, supernatural, superfine, surcharge, surcoat

Supra-

above

suprasegmental, supranational

Syn-, Sym-

together, at the same time

synchronize, synonym, sympathy, symmetry

Trans-

across, beyond, change

transform, transaction, transport, transmit, transparent

Tri-

three

tricolour, tricycle, triangle

Un-

not, against, opposite

uncommon, unnatural, undo, unwind

Under-

too little

underdog, underestimate, underpaid, underwater

Uni-, Un-

one, single

unity, union, universe, unilateral, unanimous

Ultra-

beyond

ultramodern, ultrahigh, ultrasound, ultraviolet

Vice-

junior

vice-president, vice-chancellor

With-

against, away

withhold, withdraw, withstand

3.3.2 Suffix: The Tail to Modify Meaning

A suffix is a letter or groups of letters attached to the ends of roots, words or word groups and serve a grammatical function. A suffix can indicate the part of speech (noun, verb, adjective, adverb) the word belongs to. It can also modify and extend the meaning of the word, for example, the –al suffix makes an adjective from a noun such as ‘national’ and ‘structural.’ The following suffixes are grouped beneath the grammatical function they perform:

1. Nouns:    Nouns perform the function of naming. Nouns name persons, places animals or things, as well as groups, ideas and qualities. In a sentence, nouns can be subjects, objects, or appositives.

Suffix Meaning Sample words

-acy, -cy

state or quality

privacy, supremacy, policy, conspiracy

-ade, -age

activity, or result of action

barricade, cascade, brigade mortgage, bondage, leakage

-al

action, result of action

rotational, chemical, arrival, functional

-ance, -ence

action, state, quality or process

fragrance, elegance, diligence, precedence

-ancy, -ency

state, quality or capacity

vacancy, infancy, proficiency, frequency

-ant, -ent

an agent, full of

servant, applicant, independent, pendent

-ary

resembling, related to

library, granary, salary, honorary

-art, -ard

characterized

hand cart, bullock cart, drunkard, wizard, steward, billiard

-ate, -ee, -ey, -y

persons, agents

candidate, employee, payee, attorney, journey, fury, query, economy, society

-ation

action, resulting state

specialization, qualification, imagination, conversation

-crat-, -cracy

rule

autocrat, technocrat, theocracy, democracy

-dom

place, state of being

wisdom, boredom, freedom, seldom

-eer, -ier

person concerned with or described as

mountaineer, engineer, barrier, carrier, brigadier

-er, -or, -ar

one who

porter, painter, inferior, doctor, beggar, circular

-erel

showing small objects, animals, etc.

cockerel, mongrel

-ery, -ry

class or kind

crockery, stationery, dowry, pantry

-ess

denoting females

actress, poetess, hostess, lioness

-et, -ette

denoting small objects, places, etc.

coronet, packet, cigarette, etiquette

-ful

an amount or quantity that fills

tearful, spoonful, dreadful, mouthful

-hood

condition or state

manhood, falsehood

-ia

names, diseases

phobia, mania

-ain, -an, -en, -on

referring to persons, agents

captain, villain, pagan, artisan, warden, maiden, sexton, deacon

-iatry

art of healing

psychiatry

-ic, ics, -ique

related to the arts and sciences

artistic, realistic, economics, politics, physique, critique

-ice, -icle

small objects, qualities, feelings, etc.

malice, cowardice, article, particle

-ie

state, condition

birdie, girlie

-ing

material made for, activity, result of an activity

flooring, building, running, swimming

-ion

condition or action

abduction, preposition

-ism

doctrine, belief, action or conduct

socialism, secularism, humanism, heroism

-ist

person or member

plagiarist, dentist, artist, sadist

-ite

product or part

graphite, granite

-itude

range of something

solitude, altitude, magnitude, attitude

-ity, -ty

state or quality

lucidity, nativity, activity, frugality, novelty, honesty, modesty

-ive

condition

protective, active, secretive, creative

-let

very small

booklet, pamphlet, owlet, rivulet

-ment

condition or result

document, derangement, amusement, monument

-monger

persons, agents

war monger, fish monger, iron monger, gossip monger

-mony

denoting condition, state, system

matrimony, harmony, ceremony, economy

-ness

state, condition, quality

kindness, goodness, greatness, sharpness

-ock

referring to small things, animals

bullock, hillock, paddock

-ory

place for, serves for

territory, ivory, victory

-red

denoting feeling, thought

hatred, kindred, shepherd

-ship

status, condition

relationship, citizenship, ownership, fellowship

-ssion, -sion

denoting action or state

admission, commission, succession, tension, supervision

-ster

a person who is connected with or has the quality of

youngster, spinster, trickster, gangster

-th

the action or process of

warmth, wealth, health, growth

-ure,- eur, -our

act, condition, process, function

exposure, enclosure, grandeur, tenure, labour, glamour

-wright

persons, agents

playwright, cartwright

2. Verbs:    Verbs make statements about nouns, ask questions, give commands, or show states of being. Verbs can be active or passive. Verbs also show tense or time of action.

Suffix Meaning Sample words

-ate, -ite

cause to be

situate, associate, stimulate, dedicate, expedite, ignite

-cogn, -gnos

to know

recognize, diagnose

-ed

past tense

achieved, created, nominated, selected

-en

to cause to become

moisten, shorten, lighten, soften

-er, -or

action

wonder, batter, clamour, tailor

-ify

cause

specify, clarify, glorify, signify

-ing

present participle

doing, swimming, shouting, sealing

-ize

cause

humanize, specialize, realize, utilize, popularize

-ure

act

procure, secure, endure, allure

3. Adjectives:    Adjectives describe or modify nouns. Adjectives tell the reader more about the noun used in the sentence.

Suffix Meaning Sample words

-able, -ible, -ble, -bile

worth, ability

capable, drinkable, edible, incredible, visible, soluble, illegible, mobile, profile, futile

-al, -ial, -ical

quality, relation

functional, communal, structural, territorial, menial, categorical, illogical

-ant, -ent, -ient

kind of agent, indication

important, triumphant, dependent, ardent, convenient, transient

-ar, -ary

resembling, related to

spectacular, familiar, unitary, sanitary

-ed

having the quality

terraced, dreaded, messed, blessed

-en

material

silken, forbidden, molten, frozen

-er

comparative

bigger, better, flicker, dimmer

-ese

related to

Chinese, Portuguese

-esque

like to

picturesque, grotesque

-est

superlative

brightest, sharpest, hardest, quickest

-ful

having, giving, marked by

beautiful, colourful, fanciful, dutiful

-ic, -ique

quality, relation

generic, prolific, antique, unique

-ile

having the qualities of

textile, fertile

-ine

belonging to

masculine, feminine, divine, feline

-ish

having the character of

feverish, sheepish, newish, reddish

-ive, -ative, -itive

having the quality of

festive, co-operative, creative, sensitive

-less

without, missing

motionless, speechless, restless, tireless, childless

-like

similar to, characteristic of

child-like, war-like, woman-like, man-like

-most

extreme

innermost, foremost, utmost, topmost

-ory

denoting place

sensory, advisory, cursory, transitory

-ous, -eous, -ose, -ious

having the quality of, relating to

adventurous, courageous, verbose, fractious

-some

a group of

troublesome, tiresome, wearisome, wholesome

-th

in ordinal number

fifth, sixth, seventh, eighth

-luent, -ulent, -lent,

full of

affluent, flatulent, fluent, violent, virulent

-wise

manner, respect

likewise, lengthwise, clockwise, crosswise

-y

marked by, having

hungry, sandy, healthy, heavy

4. Adverbs:    Adverbs describe verbs, adjectives and other adverbs.

Suffix Meaning Sample words

-ce

showing frequency

once, twice, thrice

-st

showing position

amidst, amongst, co-exist

-fold

in a manner of, marked by

Threefold, manifold

-ly

in the manner of

fluently, quietly, nicely, timely

-ther

in the direction

hither, thither, whither

-ward

in a direction or manner

homeward, inward, onward, outward

-wise

in the manner of, with regard to

clockwise, lengthwise, crosswise, timewise

Task

  1. Form words using the following prefixes:
    Bi……, intra….., mega….., micro……., ill…., in……., alter…., anti……, auto….., cata…., ambi…., counter……, cyber…., demi…., epi…., fore…., hyper…., homo…, intro…., infra…., milli…., mono…., omni…, para…, pseudo…., retro….., supra…., sym…., with…., ultra…., trans…., tri….

     

  2. Form words using the following suffixes:
    ….acy, ….ade, ….ant, …art, ….ation, ….crat, ….eer, ….erel, …ory, ….ette, …ain, ..ique, ….icle, …..ism, ….mony, …monger, …ster, …th, …ure, …ster, ….eur, …ment, ….wright, …ible, …like, …..most, …..some, …..y, ….fold, ….ward, …less,… ly

     

  3. Form words using the following bases:
    Areo, arch, aster, biblio, corpus, electrum, facere, gradus, logos, manus, mittere, mobilis, pathos, philos, phone, tele, therme