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In linguistics, a suffix (also sometimes called a postfix or ending) is an affix which is placed after the stem of a word. Common examples are case endings, which indicate the grammatical case of nouns or adjectives, and verb endings, which form the conjugation of verbs. Particularly in the study of Semitic languages, a suffix is called an afformative, as they can alter the form of the words to which they are fixed. In Indo-European studies, a distinction is made between suffixes and endings (see Proto-Indo-European root).
Suffixes can carry grammatical information (inflectional suffixes) or lexical information (derivational suffixes). An inflectional suffix is sometimes called a desinence.
Some examples from English:
- Girls, where the suffix -s marks the plural.
- He makes, where suffix -s marks the third person singular present tense.
- It closed, where the suffix -ed marks the past tense.
Some inflectional suffixes in present day English:
- -s third person singular present
- -ed past tense
- -ing progressive/continuous
- -en past participle
- -s plural
- -en plural (irregular)
- -er comparative
- -est superlative
- -n't negative
Some good example of common Suffixes:
|-agog, -agogue||leader||demagogue, pedagogue
|-cide||kill(ing)||patricide, infanticide, suicide
|-ia, -y||act, state||amnesia, mania, democracy, anarchy
|-ic, -tic, -ical, -ac||having to do with||anthropomorphic, dramatic, biblical, cardiac
|-ics||things having to do with||optics, physics
|-ism||the belief in||pacifism, terrorism, socialism, communism
|-ist||one who believes in||pacifist, terrorist, socialist, communist
|-ite||one connected with||meteorite, polite, cosmopolite
|-logy||study field of||biology, geology, etymology, cardiology
|-oid||resembling, like-shaped||asteroid, spheroid
|-or, -er||one who takes part in||doctor, actor, teacher, driver
|-phobia||exaggerated fear||photophobia, claustrophobia, agoraphobia
|-sis||act, state, condition of||analysis