Thursday, July 21, 2011

ESL Teaching Tip: Common Suffixes

The previous blog post discussed spelling with the suffixes -ing, -ed, -er, and -est. There are other common suffixes that would be helpful for students to learn. Learning common suffixes helps students determine the meanings of unknown words. Students can use their knowledge of word parts with Latin and Greek roots, specifically prefixes and suffixes, to pull an unknown word apart and determine its meaning. Following is a list of commonly used suffixes.

Suffix   Example Words
-able    capable, notable, desirable
-al        central, coastal, general, hospital
-ant      pleasant, important, distant, constant
-ance   continuance, allowance, abundance, balance
-ee       employee, trustee
-en       harden, sweeten, golden, driven
-ence   excellence, evidence, difference, reference
-ent      innocent, confident, ardent, eloquent
-ful       cheerful, careful, wonderful, shameful
-hood   manhood, statehood, womanhood
-ible     possible
-ice      justice, service, notice, practice
-id        timid, solid, valid, frigid
-ish      finish, vanish, punish, abolish, perish
-ine      engine, famine, genuine
-it         limit, deposit
-ite       definite, infinite, opposite
-ive      relative, possessive, active, effective
-ize      realize, fertilize, specialize, apologize
-less     shameless, careless, restless, blameless
-ment   assignment, department, apartment, agreement
-ness    happiness, sickness, brightness, darkness
-ward   awkward, downward, upward
-cian    Grecian, politician, musician
-ciate   appreciate, emaciate
-cient   proficient, efficient, sufficient
-cial     racial, social, facial, crucial
-tial      partial, initial, essential
-sial     controversial
-cious   gracious, delicious, vicious
-tious   facetious, pretentious, ostentatious
-xious   anxious, obnoxious, noxious

For additional ESL teaching tips:
Click here to read about the pronunciation of -ed.
Click here to read about pronouncing plurals.
Click here to read about voiced and voiceless sounds.
Click here to read about rising and falling intonation in questions.
Click here to read about syllable stress and the schwa.
Click here to read about adding the suffixes -ing, -ed, -er, and -est.
Click here to read about teaching common prefixes. 
Click here to read about decoding multi-syllabic words. 
Click here to read about spelling words that end in S, F, and Z.
Click here to read about other sounds for c and g.

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