Grammar Suffixes and Prefixes

Adjective Suffixes | Useful and Helpful Examples of Adjective Suffixes

Adjective Suffixes | Useful and Helpful Examples of Adjective Suffixes
Written by ilmPak

In this lesson, we will learn the definition, usage, and helpful examples of adjective suffixes in English with their usage in sentences. Learn the entire lesson and enhance your English language skills for a better impression on your daily life conversations. In this article, we will explore some of the most common adjective suffixes in English, how they are used, and examples of words that utilize them. By understanding these suffixes, you can expand your vocabulary and communicate more effectively in both written and spoken English.

What is an Adjective Suffix?

Adjective suffixes are added to the end of a base word to modify or describe a noun.

Certain suffixes are typical of adjectives. You can combine these endings with verbs and nouns to create an adjective.

Here are some useful and helpful examples of adjective suffixes:

  1. -ful:
    • Example: joyful, playful, beautiful
    • Use: Indicates a tendency or inclination to possess a certain quality.
  2. -less:
    • Example: fearless, clueless, tireless
    • Use: Denotes the absence or lack of a particular quality.
  3. -ous:
    • Example: spacious, gracious, delicious
    • Use: Indicates possession or abundance of a certain quality.
  4. -ic:
    • Example: artistic, scientific, specific
    • Use: Relates to a particular field of study or discipline.
  5. -al:
    • Example: musical, cultural, historical
    • Use: Pertaining to or connected with; having the characteristics of.
  6. -ive:
    • Example: sensitive, creative, decisive
    • Use: Indicates a tendency to possess a certain quality or to take a certain action.
  7. -ed:
    • Example: interested, excited, amazed
    • Use: Indicates a state or condition resulting from a particular action.
  8. -y:
    • Example: sunny, happy, busy
    • Use: Indicates a characteristic or quality of being.
  9. -ish:
    • Example: childish, reddish, foolish
    • Use: Indicates a quality or condition to a partial or incomplete degree.
  10. -able / -ible:
    • Example: comfortable, visible, flexible
    • Use: Indicates the capacity or ability to possess a certain quality.
  11. -ing:
    • Example: charming, confusing, interesting
    • Use: Indicates the action or process of a verb, turning it into an adjective.
  12. -ary:
    • Example: literary, dietary, honorary
    • Use: Relates to or connected with; associated with a particular thing.
  13. -al:
    • Example: personal, regional, professional
    • Use: Pertaining to or connected with; having the characteristics of.
  14. -ive:
    • Example: effective, sensitive, progressive
    • Use: Indicates a tendency to possess a certain quality or to take a certain action.

These examples demonstrate how adjective suffixes can be added to base words to convey different meanings and nuances in English.

Common Adjective Suffixes

-able or -ible suffix

Meaning: capable of being, capable or worthy of, tending to

Examples:

  • flammable
  • discernible
  • culpable
  • accountable
  • beatable
  • acceptable
  • edible

-al suffix (-al, -ial, -ical)

Meaning: pertaining to something, relating to, having the quality of

Examples:

  • accidental
  • educational
  • brutal
  • historical
  • regional
  • social
  • Universal
  • personal
  • experimental
  • mental
  • Universal

-ant or -ent suffix

Meaning: performing or being, inclined towards something/ someone

Examples:

  • independent
  • vacant
  • important
  • brilliant
  • incessant

-ary suffix

Meaning: relates to something, relating to quality or place

Examples:

  • customary
  • momentary
  • cautionary
  • dietary
  • veterinary
  • planetary

-ful suffix (-full)

Meaning: full of, tending, or liable to

Examples:

  • awful
  • skillful
  • successful
  • bountiful
  • beautiful
  • wonderful
  • careful

-ic suffix

Meaning: pertaining or relating to

Examples:

  • athletic
  • scenic
  • fantastic
  • organic
  • acidic
  • historic
  • scenic

-ive suffix

Meaning: performing or tending toward, the nature of

Examples:

  • cooperative
  • sensitive
  • supportive
  • pensive
  • creative

-ious or -ous suffix

Meaning: full of, relating to, qualities of 

Examples:

  • dangerous
  • nervous
  • gracious
  • mysterious
  • poisonous
  • victorious

-less suffix

Meaning: without, lacking, unable to act

Examples:

  • powerless
  • friendless
  • worthless
  • useless
  • homeless
  • careless
  • breathless
  • faithless
  • fearless

-y suffix

Meaning: characterized by, tending to

Examples:

  • rainy
  • funny
  • dirty
  • messy
  • sleepy
  • beautifully
  • brainy
  • fruity

-like suffix

Meaning: like

Examples:

  • lifelike
  • warlike
  • childlike
  • lifelike
  • ladylike
  • birdlike

-ish suffix

Meaning: origin, nature

Examples:

  • selfish
  • sheepish
  • pinkish
  • bookish
  • childish
  • boyish
  • foolish

-ile suffix

Meaning: tending to, capable of

  • futile
  • gentile
  • senile
  • fragile

-an, -ian suffix

Meaning: one who is or does, related to

Examples:

  • agrarian
  • simian
  • egalitarian
  • dystopian

Adjective Suffix in Context

The list below shows how words created from adjective suffixes operate as adjectives:

  1. The fragile egg broke when it fell.
  2. The childish trick was annoying.
  3. The man had a childlike smile.
  4. The sleepy girl went to bed early.
  5. Her mysterious benefactor attended her art exhibit.

Comparative and Superlative Suffixes

Comparative and superlative suffixes are used to compare different degrees of a particular quality.

Here are examples of comparative and superlative forms with their respective suffixes:

Comparative Suffixes

  1. -er:
    • Example: faster, taller, brighter
    • Use: Indicates a higher degree of a particular quality in comparison to another.
  2. -ier:
    • Example: fancier, happier, earlier
    • Use: Similar to “-er,” used with certain adjectives to indicate a higher degree.
  3. more:
    • Example: more intelligent, more beautiful, more interesting
    • Use: Used with most longer adjectives and adverbs to indicate a higher degree.
  4. less:
    • Example: less crowded, less expensive, less complicated
    • Use: Indicates a lower degree or quantity.

Superlative Suffixes

  1. -est:
    • Example: fastest, tallest, brightest
    • Use: Indicates the highest degree of a particular quality among three or more items.
  2. -iest:
    • Example: fanciest, happiest, earliest
    • Use: Similar to “-est,” used with certain adjectives to indicate the highest degree.
  3. most:
    • Example: most intelligent, most beautiful, most interesting
    • Use: Used with most longer adjectives and adverbs to indicate the highest degree.
  4. least:
    • Example: least crowded, least expensive, least complicated
    • Use: Indicates the lowest degree or quantity.

Irregular Forms

  1. good – better – best:
    • Example: The food was good, but this is better. This is the best meal I’ve ever had.
  2. bad – worse – worst:
    • Example: The weather is bad today, but it was worse yesterday. This is the worst storm we’ve had in years.
  3. far – farther/further – farthest/furthest:
    • Example: The store is far, but the gas station is farther. This is the farthest I’ve ever traveled.
Base Adjective Comparative Superlative
Small Smaller Smallest
Fast Faster Fastest
Happy Happier Happiest
Healthy Healthier Healthiest

Adjective Suffixes | Images

Adjective Suffixes | Useful and Helpful Examples of Adjective Suffixes

Adjective Suffixes | Useful and Helpful Examples of Adjective Suffixes

Adjective Suffixes | Useful and Helpful Examples of Adjective Suffixes

Comparative and Superlative Adjective Suffixes

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Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What is the purpose of adjective suffixes?
    • Answer: Adjective suffixes are used to modify or describe nouns by adding specific endings to base words. They help convey nuances such as possession, absence, tendency, or degree of a particular quality.
  2. Can you provide more examples of adjectives with the “-ful” suffix?
    • Answer: Certainly! Examples include “grateful,” “hopeful,” “playful,” and “careful.” These words indicate a tendency or inclination toward possessing a certain quality.
  3. How do I use the “-less” suffix in adjectives?
    • Answer: The “-less” suffix is added to a base word to indicate the absence or lack of a particular quality. Examples include “fearless,” “clueless,” and “tireless.”
  4. When do I use the “-ous” suffix in adjectives?
    • Answer: The “-ous” suffix is added to convey possession or abundance of a certain quality. Examples include “spacious,” “gracious,” and “delicious.”
  5. What is the function of the “-er” suffix in comparative adjectives?
    • Answer: The “-er” suffix is used to compare two items, indicating a higher degree of a particular quality in one item compared to another. Examples include “faster,” “taller,” and “brighter.”
  6. Can you provide examples of adjectives with suffixes?

    Certainly! Here are a few examples of adjectives with different suffixes:

    • Comfort + -able = Comfortable
    • Danger + -ous = Dangerous
    • Romance + -tic = Romantic
    • Simplify + -ive = Simplified
    • Fruit + -ful = Fruitful
  7. Give an example of a superlative adjective using the “-est” suffix.
    • Answer: Certainly! An example is “brightest.” It indicates the highest degree of brightness among three or more items.
  8. How do I form the superlative of adjectives ending in “-y”?
    • Answer: For adjectives ending in “-y,” change the “y” to “i” and add “-est.” For example, “happy” becomes “happiest.”
  9. Provide an example of an irregular comparative adjective.
    • Answer: An example is “good – better.” For instance, “This book is good, but that one is better.”
  10. What is the meaning of the suffix “-ish” in adjectives?
    • Answer: The “-ish” suffix is used to indicate a quality or condition to a partial or incomplete degree. Examples include “childish,” “reddish,” and “foolish.”
  11. When should I use “more” and “most” with adjectives?
  • Answer: Use “more” and “most” with longer adjectives and adverbs to indicate a higher degree. Examples include “more interesting” and “most beautiful.”

These questions and answers provide clarity on the usage and meaning of adjective suffixes in English.

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