Pradeep Kumar Das
Deptt. of Linguistics
University of Delhi



English Derivational Suffixes:


  1. [Adj à Adj ]:           

                                            ‘-ish’ Meaning: ‘increase in quality or state’ Exp: pink- pinkish: fool- foolish.

                                             ‘-ial’ Meaning: ‘showing of X’ Exp: different-differential


  1. [Adj à N]:

                                            ‘-ity’ Meaning: ‘expressing state or condition’ Exp: Sincere- sincerity.

                                                                                                                         Clear- clarity.

                                       ‘-ness’ Meaning ‘Expressing the state or condition’ Exp: kind- kindness



  1. [Adj à V ]

                                            ‘-ize’ Meaning: ‘ to make the X’ Exp: modern-modernize, special-specialize.


                                      ‘-ate’ Meaning: ‘to make the X’ Exp: active-activate, invalid- invalidate.


4. [Nà Adj]

                                        ‘-al’ Meaning: ‘pertaining to X’ Exp: center-central, nation-national.


                                         ‘-ous’ Meaning ‘ the property of having X’ Exp: poison-poisonous,



                                         ‘-able’ Meaning: ‘ possession of X’ Exp: knowledge-knowledgeable,



5. [NàN]

                                            ‘-hood’ Meaning : ‘expressing the status of X’ Exp: brother-brotherhood



                                           ‘-ship’ Meaning: ‘state or condition of X’ Exp: king-kingship,



                                               ‘-ist’ Meaning: ‘making use of X’ Exp: motor-motorist,

                                                                                                          cartoon- cartoonist.


6. [VàN]

                                            ‘-al’ Meaning: ‘doing the act of X’ Exp: propose-proposal, refuse-refusal.


                                             ‘-ation’ Meaning: ‘the result of ‘X-ing’ Exp: realize-realization,



7.      [VàAdj]

                                            ‘-able’ Meaning: ‘able to be X-ed’ Exp: fix-fixable, move-movable.

                                            ‘-ive’ Meaning: ‘having the property of doing X’ Exp:

                                                                                        interrogate-interrogative,  negate-negative.


8. [NàV]

                                                ‘-ize’ Meaning: ‘to put in X’ Exp: hospital-hospitalize,

                                                                                                   capital (money)-capitalize.

                                                 ‘-fy’ Meaning: ‘to make of X’ Exp: beauty-beautify, person-personify.


9.      [ VàV]

                                                ‘-ate’ Meaning: ‘act of doing X’ Exp: demark-demarcate,


10.  [AdjàAdv]

                                                ‘-ly’ Meaning: ‘expressing the state or manner’ Exp:

                                                                                                          bold-boldly, clear-clearly.