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Suffixes – Different types and examples

Grade 5
Aug 4, 2023


  • A suffix is a letter or a group of letters that we add at the end of a word in order to form a new word.
  • Suffixes come under the group called affixes, which themselves come under a group called morphemes.

Examples of Morphemes:

  • Consider the word ‘kindness’. It consists of two units, ‘kind’ and ‘ness’.
  • Such units are called morphemes.
  • Thus, we can say that the word kindness is made up of two morphemes: ‘kind’ and ‘ness’.



  • The word unkindly is made up of three morphemes: ‘un’, ‘kind’, and ‘ly’.
  • Therefore, a morpheme may be defined as the smallest meaningful unit in the structure of a language.


  • A morpheme that can occur freely or in combination with other morphemes is called a free morpheme.
  • Some morpheme that cannot exist independently. It takes the help of some morphemes like -ed, -ing, -ment, -un, etc. These are known as bound morpheme.
  • When the suffixes are removed from words, we are left with is the root or base.
  • This goes on to prove that affixes are always subservient to the roots because, it is the roots that get modified to form new words.
  • Suffixes are the affixes that occur at the end of word.


Madness – mad + -ness


Rightly – right + -ly

  • Suffixes can be classified as inflectional suffixes and derivational suffixes.

Inflectional Suffixes:

  • Suffixes that change the form of a word alone, and not its class, are called inflectional suffixes.
  • They do not change the meaning of the word altogether, and therefore do not create new words.

Inflectional Suffix

  • Example: In ‘smile, smiles, smiling, and smiled’, -s, -ing, and -ed are the inflectional suffixes.
  • The function of inflectional suffixes is to indicate grammatical relations such as number, gender, tenses, and so on.
  • Inflectional suffixes are not followed by any other suffixes as they occur at the end of the words.
  • Therefore, they are called the closing morphemes.

Derivational Suffixes:

  • Suffixes that create new words from the root word are called derivational suffixes.
  • Let’s take the word child. Adding the suffix -hood to it results in a total change of meaning and the resultant word would be childhood.

Derivational suffixes

  • Derivational suffixes also have the ability to change the class of a word.

Example: Take the word kind. Kind is an adjective. Now consider adding either of the suffixes -ness or -ly.

  • Adding -ness results in the formation of kindness, which is a noun, and adding -ly results in the formation of kindly, which is an adverb.
  • Derivational suffixes are therefore class changing affixes.



Judge – Judgement

Happy (adjective) – Happiness (noun)

Organize (verb) – Organization (noun)

Write (verb) – Writer (noun)

Derivational suffixes

  • Derivational suffixes can be succeeded by other derivational or inflectional suffixes.


Organ /iz / ation/ al

Human / iz/ ation


  • Let’s see some more examples.


  • Address – Addressee
  • Interview – Interviewee
  • Refer – Referee

-er/ -or:

  • Work – Worker
  • Teach – Teacher
  • Act – Actor
  • Edit – Editor


  • Critic – Criticism
  • Human – Humanism
  • Journal – Journalism


  • Govern – Government
  • Enjoy – Enjoyment
  • Develop – Development

Derivational suffixes

Derivational suffixes



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