What are the most common academic suffixes?

This is the third and final lesson about Suffixes. To complete this course, read each lesson carefully and then unlock and complete our materials to check your understanding.   

– Outline the most commonly used suffixes in academia

– Provide academic suffixes for adjectives, adverbs and nouns. 

– Use example words and suffixes to assist comprehension

Lesson 3

The final lesson on the topic of suffixes focuses specifically on those suffixes which are used most frequently in academic writing. By determining whether these suffixes are attached to adjectives, adverbs or nouns, we can most efficiently separate these into groups so that you can easily recognise and use these suffixes in your own academic speech and writing.


1. Adjectival Suffixes

Certain suffixes may be used to form adjectives either from nouns or from verbs. While there may be much variation here, there are certainly some suffix patterns that are fairly common, such as when changing nouns into adjectives:

Suffixes 3.1 Nouns to Adjectives

There are also some patterns for when creating adjectives from verbs:

Suffixes 3.2 Verbs to Adjectives

With these suffixes in mind, do remember to be careful of adjectives which have similar base forms but different suffixes, such as the following examples:

Suffixes 3.3 Adjective Pairs

2. Adverbial Suffixes

Unlike adjectives and nouns, adverbs have a far smaller number of suffixes to choose from and should therefore be easier to remember. The following three suffixes are used to form adverbs from adjectives:

Suffixes 3.4 Adjectives to Adverbs

While these two suffixes turn nouns into adverbs:

Suffixes 3.5 Nouns to Adverbs

While changing an adjective or noun to an adverb through derivational suffixation generally changes the word class and not the meaning, this is not always the case. The following examples demonstrate how adjectives and adverbs with very similar spelling may have very different meanings:

Suffixes 3.6 Similar Adjectives and Adverbs

3. Nominal Suffixes

The final group of suffixes is the largest, which is unsurprising seeing as nouns are also the largest word class. By practising and memorising the following suffixes and their meanings, you should in the future be able to quickly expand your academic vocabulary. The first set worth discussing is used to change verbs into nouns:

Suffixes 3.7 Verbs to Nouns

The second converts adjectives into nouns:

Suffixes 3.8 Adjectives to Nouns

The final set of suffixes are used to convert nouns into other types of nouns, such as personal nouns, feminine nouns, diminutives and collective nouns.  The following table therefore provides some of the most common examples that may be used in academic speech or writing:

Suffixes 3.9 Nouns to Nouns

Now that you have a good understanding of what a suffix is, why these pieces of words are important, and which different types may be selected, and have also studied the most common academic suffixes that can be used, if you would like to check your understanding of this topic then consider downloading and completing our beginner-, intermediate– and advanced-level worksheets on this topic.

3 of 3 Lessons Completed


Once you’ve completed all three lessons about suffixes, you might also wish to download our beginner, intermediate and advanced worksheets to test your progress or print for your students. These professional PDF worksheets can be easily accessed for only a few Academic Marks.

Our suffixes guidance sheet (including all three lessons about this topic) can be accessed here at the click of a button.

Gain unlimited access to our suffixes beginner worksheet, with activities and answer keys designed to check a basic understanding of this topic’s lessons.

To check a confident understanding of this topic’s lessons, click on the button below to download our suffixes intermediate worksheet with activities and answer keys.

Our suffixes advanced worksheet with activities and answer keys has been created to check a sophisticated understanding of this topic’s lessons. 

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