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Check Out These Suffix Examples (Sentence and 4 Activities)

Are you a speech-language pathologist, teacher, or intervention specialist teaching suffix endings to students? There are many suffixes in the English language. Understanding suffixes is important for reading comprehension and everyday speech. Morphological awareness and knowledge can assist with helping students define unfamiliar words. This article contains suffix examples, sentence examples, and a list of suffixes to reference while working with students. The next time you are considering what to work on with your students, don’t forget about prefixes and suffixes!

This blog post contains suffix examples, sentence examples, and a list of suffixes that can be used in speech therapy or special education.

What Are Morphemes?

Morphemes are the smallest units of language that carry meaning and cannot be divided any further. 

SLPs care about morphemes because we’re interested in the mean length of utterances (aka MLU).

For example, the word “talks” has two morphemes, “talk” and the suffix -s.

As you read further, you may see the term “affix”. 

This is referring to two specific morphemes in particular: prefixes and suffixes. 

Many different words are created using prefixes and suffixes. 

While prefixes occur at the beginning of a word, suffixes occur at the end.

Common prefixes include antiautodisenim, and in.

Common suffixes include ableibleded, and ing.

This blog post features suffix examples sentences and recommended activities for speech therapy and special education

Morphological Awareness

Morphological awareness is understanding that words can be broken down into morphemes.

Morphemes include roots, prefixes, and suffixes.

The skill of morphological awareness is important for reading and spelling. 

Understanding morphological awareness can help one figure out the meaning of a word.

Reference: 

Morphological Awareness: One Piece of the Literacy Pie. (2017). Retrieved from https://dyslexiaida.org/morphological-awareness-one-piece-of-the-literacy-pie/#:~:text=Morphological%20awareness%20is%20explicitly%20thinking,become%20a%20word.

This image shows a prefixes and suffixes activity that could be used in speech therapy or special education with elementary students.

Resource Pictured: Weather Morphology

Base Words vs Root Words

When discussing morphological awareness, it is helpful to understand the differences between a root word and a base word.

A base word can stand alone. You can also create new words from a base word using prefixes and suffixes. 

Root words can’t usually stand alone, and they come from Latin or Greek origins. You can add affixes (prefixes and suffixes) to a root.

It can get kind of confusing because a base word can have a Latin or Greek origin.

Want to dig deeper? Learn more about base words vs root words.

References:

Are Base Words and Root Words the Same? (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.yourdictionary.com/articles/base-root-words

What is the difference between base words and root words? (n.d.). Retrieved from https://support.pld-literacy.org/en-au/article/what-is-the-difference-between-base-words-and-root-words-bo9j3q/

What Is a Suffix?

A suffix is a morpheme that is added to the end of a word. This can mean adding one letter or a group of letters.

An example of a suffix is the suffix -ly, which is added to an adjective (such as ‘quiet’) to form an adverb (such as ‘quietly’). 

The addition of a suffix to a base word can create a new meaning. It may also change the grammatical function of that word.

You can see how understanding word endings is very important for overall comprehension.

There are two different suffixes: inflectional suffixes and derivational suffixes. These types of suffixes are explained in the following paragraph.

Reference:

What Are Suffixes in English? Definition and Examples. (2022). Retrieved from https://www.grammarly.com/blog/suffixes/

Inflectional Suffixes

An inflectional suffix shows tense, number, possession, and comparison.

An example of an inflectional suffix is the -ed suffix, which indicates the past tense. Watch how I teach past tense verbs in speech therapy.

Examples of words one might add the past tense -ed suffix to include: jump, ask, kick, wash, and talk.

The simple present tense is formed by adding the -s or -es suffixes (i.e. eats), while the suffix -ing can be used to show the present continuous tense. 

At the same time, the -s or -es suffixes can be used to indicate numbers (plurals, such as cats). 

This image shows an s or es suffix sorting activity to work on regular plural nouns. It can be used in speech therapy or special education.

Resource Pictured: Irregular and Regular Plurals Program

Comparative adjectives are formed using the -er suffix and superlative adjectives are formed by adding the “est” suffix to the base.

In speech therapy, I like to incorporate teaching inflectional suffixes, such as the past tense -ed or -d. 

We often do tasks such as sorting by suffix ending.

This image shows a d ed suffix past tense sorting activity. It could be used in speech therapy or special education.

Resource Pictured: Regular Past Tense Verbs Program

Derivational Suffixes

You use derivational suffixes at the end of the word to change word types. 

In other words, a derivational suffix changes the part of speech. A word might change from a verb (teacher) to a noun (teacher) using the suffix -er.

The spelling of the word may also change (for example, happy to happiness). 

Reference: 

Morphological derivation. (2023). Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Morphological_derivation

This image shows a suffix worksheet and is part of a prefixes and suffixes worksheet packet available on Teachers Pay Teachers by The Pedi Speechie.

Resource Pictured: Prefix and Suffix Worksheets

Examples of Suffixes

​Here is a list of the most common suffixes.

  1. -able (meaning: can be done, able to be, for example, the suffix -able could be used in the word comfortable)
  2. -ible (meaning: can be done, able to be, for example: possible)
  3. -er (meanings: one who… or, to make a comparison, examples: teacher, louder)
  4. -est (meaning: the most, for example: strongest)
  5. -ful (meaning: full of, for example, the suffix -ful could be used in the word beautiful)
  6. -ing (meaning: an action that’s currently happening or ongoing, for example: running)
  7. -ly (meaning: in a certain way, used to represent an adverb, for example: quickly)
  8. -d (meaning: already happened, used to represent past tense, for example: danced)
  9. -ed (meaning, already happened, used to represent past tense, for example: talked)
  10. -ment (meaning: the act of, for example: enjoyment)
  11. -s (meaning: more than one, or action that is happening, for example- cats, talks)
  12. -es (meaning: more than one, or action that is happening, for example- watches, calves)
  13. -ful (meaning: full of, example- careful)
  14. -less (meaning: without, or to not have, for example- fearless)

Suffix Examples Sentence

​Here are example sentences using common suffixes:

  1. I am very comfortable in my sweatpants.
  2. It is possible to get a good grade if you study.
  3. My teacher was very tired today.
  4. It is louder here than in the kindergarten classroom!
  5. He is the strongest kid on his team.
  6. She is running a race.
  7. That painting is very beautiful.
  8. We danced to the music.
  9. They talked in the hallway.
  10. I get enjoyment out of reading.
  11. She talks to my brother.
  12. He wears two watches.
  13. I am careful when it is icy outside.
  14. My older sister is very fearless

Summary

In summary, this article explained what a suffix is. It also explained the difference between root words and base words and provided a list of common suffixes, as well as suffix examples sentence and words.

Here are 4 resources that could be used with students to work on affixes (prefixes and/ or suffixes):

  1. Prefix and Suffix Worksheets
  2. Weather Morphology
  3. Regular Past Tense Verbs Program
  4. Plurals Program

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