General Noun Suffixes

Prefix and Suffix Types

Negative prefixes and suffix forms

 Using prefixes and suffixes correctly are an important part of doing the word formation exercise , which is Part 3 in the Use of English exam. We have seen suffixes we use to talk about people and there is a larger group of noun suffixes which are used to create nouns in general.

Noun Suffixes

When we use these suffixes we are describing an idea.   

For example

  • Kind – ness  is the act of being kind.        
  • Imagin -ation describes the thing which allows us to imagine ideas.
  • Optim -ism   describes the action of feeling optimistic. 
      

Suffixes

It is important to learn how these suffixes are used in English and to recognise the different endings to nouns. Some languages way have similar words so it can be interesting to review those kinds of words from your own language if they exist.  

  • -ism
  • -tion/-sion
  • -ation
  • -ence/-ance
  • -ness
  • -ment
  • -ity
  • -ship
  • -hood
  • -ery
  • -age
  • -ics
  • -acy

optimism
situation / decision
admiration
existence / appearance
happiness
enjoyment
reality
friendship
childhood
bakery
marriage
politics
privacy

NOTE There is also a very small group of words which use -f as a suffix to create a noun.

  • prove  -> proof
  • believe -> belief
  • relieve->relief

General Noun Suffixes Practice

Choose the correct noun suffix for each of the following questions.

EXAMPLE

kind, warm, cold, bright

  1. -ness
  2. -ism
  3.  -ment
  4. -tion

 

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