Reading Suffixes


Tier 1 (Most Common)



Examples (20)


Forms abstract nouns

capacity, clarity, possibility, security, curiosity, complexity, humanity, diversity, legality, authority


Forms adjectives

central, formal, mental, visual, local, global, social, cultural, physical, final


Forms adjectives or nouns

excellent, patient, different, confident, recent, dependent, urgent, convenient, confident, evident


Forms nouns denoting agents or things

American, ocean, human, musician, captain, pelican, hurricane, postman, policeman, customer


Forms verbs

activate, calculate, create, translate, decorate, participate, illustrate, demonstrate, complicate, evaporate

Tier 2 (Highly Used)



Examples (20)


Forms nouns denoting actions, states, or qualities

existence, guidance, dependence, difference, performance, importance, appearance, inheritance, maintenance, abundance


Forms adjectives

historic, basic, tragic, magic, comic, plastic, economic, dramatic, symbolic, realistic


Indicates possibility

terrible, possible, terrible, flexible, visible, terrible, audible, sensible, terrible, incredible


Forms verbs (mostly)

lengthen, widen, darken, strengthen, open, deepen, soften, tighten, freshen, sharpen

Tier 3 (Less Common, But Still Important)



Examples (20)


Forms agents

teacher, doctor, driver, baker, writer, actor, manager, director, worker, supervisor


Forms nouns denoting actions, states, or results

development, enjoyment, government, movement, achievement, excitement, requirement, replacement, improvement, involvement


Forms adjectives relating to actions

active, creative, positive, negative, attractive, informative, expensive, aggressive, impressive, massive


Forms the opposite of an adjective

hopeless, helpless, endless, speechless, careless, fearless, clueless, timeless, worthless, priceless


Forms adjectives

famous, dangerous, delicious, courageous, enormous, obvious, suspicious, mysterious, continuous, marvelous


Forms doctrines, principles, or systems

socialism, capitalism, feminism, racism, communism, terrorism, optimism, pessimism, realism, idealism


Forms actions or processes

creation, destruction, education, completion, investigation, imagination, communication, celebration, organization, presentation


Forms studies or bodies of knowledge

biology, psychology, sociology, geology, technology, ecology, zoology, anthropology, mythology, criminology


Forms nouns denoting agents

assistant, consultant, participant, applicant, defendant, contestant, immigrant, migrant, servant, participant

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