Verb Suffixes

verb suffixes

Find out more about verb suffixes and how they can extend your vocabulary as well as help you remember meanings of new words.

A suffix is a letter or a group of letters that are added to the end of a word to make a new word. Generally, suffixes have a particular meaning. When a suffix is added to a base word and that base word becomes a verb, it is called a verb suffix.

Learning the meanings of suffixes has two key advantages:

  • They can help you extend your vocabulary and work out the meaning of unfamiliar words.
  • They can help you remember the meanings of words most easily.

Many words in English are formed from the same root or base word. By adding different suffixes, a range of new words can be formed.

Here are some commonly used noun suffixes and what they mean:

Suffixes forming verbs Meaning Examples
-ate To bring about a state Demonstrate, generate, communicate, suffocate, illustrate
-en To become Shorten, thicken, widen, strengthen
-ify To make something, to become Clarify, identify, modify, simplify
-ise To do something, to become Criticise, realise, modernise, optimise

Here are some examples:

I like to communicate with my team.

We decided to widen the roads.

Can you please clarify what you meant by that?

realise the importance of suffixes now that I have learnt them.

Take note of these general rules when it comes to suffixes:

  • Adding a suffix usually changes the class of the word
  • Adding a suffix can mean the class of the word remains the same but the meaning of the new word changes.
  • Adding a suffix can cause a spelling change.


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