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Adjective-Forming Suffixes Along with bases and prefixes, suffixes have often been used in word formation. Suffixes are word elements attached to the end of a base, and, as with prefixes, most of us are familiar with them in the case of native English words. For example: Base + Suffix Meaning Word kind  + -ness quality of kindness care + -less without careless boy + -ish like boyish In the same way , many English word of Latin origin have been form by the addition of suffixes. For example: Base Meaning + Suffix Meaning Word FIN- end + -al pertaining to final NUMER- number + -ous full of numerous POPUL- people + -ar pertaining to popular Suffixes differ from prefixes in that they not only modify the meaning of a base, but also determine the part of speech of the word thus formed. In the case the previous examples, adjectival suffixes were attached to noun bases to form adjectives. We shall be dealing with three types of suffixes, adjective-forming, noun-forming and verb- forming. In some instances, however, a suffix normally classed as an adjective-forming will actually be found to form a noun. This is because of a tendency, present in most languages, for adjectives to be used as nouns. Thus, in English good is generally an adjective, but in the sentence, “The good die young,” it is used to mean “good people.” Similarly, the words numeral (NUMER-, “number” + -al, “pertaining to”) and pedal (PED-, “foot” + -al) usually occur as nouns despite the fact that -al is classed as an adjective- forming suffix. More than one suffix is sometimes found in a single word. For example: Base Meaning + Suffix Meaning + Suffix Meaning Word CLASS- class,rank + -ic belonging to + -al    pertaining to classical EQU- equal + -al pertaining to + -ity    state of equality POPUL- people + -ar pertaining to + -ity    state of popularity When a suffix which ends in e is followed by an additional suffix, the e is generally dropped. For example: Base Meaning + Suffix Meaning + Suffix Meaning Word VERB- word + -ose full of + -ity quality of verbosity URB- city + -ane pertaining to + -ity quality of urbanity Latin Learn the following adjective-forming suffixes and their meanings to help understand the language we use in everyday life: -al (-ial, -eal), “pertaining to,” “like,” “belonging to,” “having the character of” Base Meaning + Suffix Word VOC- voice + -al vocal VERB- word + -al verbal EQU- equal + -al equal -ane, -an (-ian), same meanings as preceding. Base Meaning + Suffix Word VETER- old + -an veteran URB- city + -an urban MUND- world + -an mundane The suffix -an (-ian) frequently forms words which are used as nouns and so comes to mean “one connected with.” Base Meaning + Suffix Word LIBR- book + -ary library BARBAR- foreign + -ian barbarian -ar, “pertaining to,” “like,” “belonging to,” “having the character of.” Base Meaning + Suffix Word POPUL- people + -ar popular REGUL- rule + -ar regular FAMILI- family, household + -ar familiar -ose (-ious, -eous), “full of,” “having the character of,” “like.” Base Meaning + Suffix Word FAM- fame, report + -ous famous POPUL- people + -ous populous VARI- varied + -ous various -(u)lent, -(o)lent, “full of,” “disposed to.” Base Meaning + Suffix Word FRAUD- deceit + -(u)lent fraudulent VI- force + -(o)lent violent -ic, -tic, “pertaining to,” “like.” Base Meaning + Suffix Word CIV- citizen + -ic civic CLASS- class, rank + -ic classic RUS- country + -tic rustic -ary, “pertaining to,” “connected with,” “having the character of.” Base Meaning + Suffix Word LITER- letter, literature + -ary literary MILIT- soldier + -ary military TEMPOR- time + -ary temporary If this suffix is followed by an additional element, the final y becomes i. Base Meaning + Suffix + Suffix Word PREC- prayer + -ary + -ous precarious ANTIQU- old + -ary + -an antiquarian The suffix -ary frequently forms words which are used as nouns and so comes to mean “one connected with.” Base Meaning + Suffix Word ANTIQU- old + -ary antiquary DIGNIT- worth + -ary dignitary -ile, -il, “pertaining to,” “like,” “belonging to,” “having the character of.” Base Meaning + Suffix Word JUVEN- young + -ile juvenile HOST- enemy + -ile hostile CIV- citizen + -il civil -ine, “pertaining to,” “like,” “of.” Base Meaning + Suffix Word FEMIN- woman + -ine feminine CAN- dog + -ine canine (There are a number of adjectives formed by means of this suffix from the names of living creatures; for example, FEL-, “cat,” feline; ASIN-, “ass,”asinine:; BOV-, “cow,” bovine; AQUIL-, “eagle,” aquiline, etc.) -ate (occasionally -ite), “possessing,” “being,” “characterized by” (often equivalent to the English past participial ending -ed) Prefix      + Base Meaning + Suffix Word ad-             +   CUR- care + -ate accurate ad-             + EQU- equal  + -ate adequate (literally,                                                                                                      made equal to) FAVOR- favor  + -ite favourite ORN- to adorn + -ate ornate (literally,                                                                                                    adorned) -ant, -ent(-ient), equivalent to the English participial ending -ing Prefix      + Base  Meaning   + Suffix Word                       URG-  to press    + -ent urgent (literally,                                                                                                   pressing) ad-            + PAR-  to appear     + -ent parent (literally,                                                                                                    appearing VIGIL-  to watch     + -ant vigilant (literally                                                                                                   watching) This suffix frequently forms words which are used as nouns, and so it comes to mean “person who,” “that which.” Prefix      + Base Meaning + Suffix Word AG- to do + -ent agent (literally, person                                                                                                                       doing)       in-               +   HABIT- to live + -ant inhabitant (literally,                                                                                                   person living in)   ad-              + HER- to stick  + -ent adherent (literally,                                                                                                     person sticking to) SERV- to serve  + -ant servant (literally,                                                                                                   person serving) -able, -ible, “able to be,” “able to,” “tending to.” Prefix      + Base  Meaning   + Suffix Word                       PORT-  to carry    + -able portable ad-            + APT-  fit     + -able adaptable FLEX-  to bend     + -ible  flexible If this suffix is followed by an additional element, it becomes -abil-, -ibil-. Prefix + Base Meaning + Suffix + Suffix Word ad- + APT- fit + -able + -ity adaptability FLEX- to bend + -ible + -ity flexibility -ile, “able to be,” “able to,” “tending to.” Base Meaning + Suffix Word AG- to do + -ile agile VOLAT- to fly + -ile volatile REPT- to creep + -ile reptile This suffix is distinguished from, -ile, -il, “pertaining to,” etc. (seen above) -acious, “tending to,” “inclined to.” Base Meaning + Suffix Word AUD- to dare + -acious audacious TEN- to hold + -acious tenacious -itious, “tending to,” “characterised by.” Prefix      + Base  Meaning   + Suffix Word                       FICT-  to invent    + -itious fictitious ex-              + PED-  foot     + -itious expeditious -id, “tending to,” “inclined to.” Base Meaning + Suffix Word FRIG- to  be cold + -id frigid RAP- to seize + -id rapid HUM- to be wet + -id humid -ulous, “tending to,” “inclined to.” Base Meaning + Suffix Word GARR- to chatter + -ulous garrulous TREM- to tremble + -ulous tremulous -ive, “tending to,” “inclined to.” Prefix      + Base  Meaning   + Suffix Word                       ACT-  to do    + -ive active ad-             + TRACT- to draw + -ive attractive ex-             + FECT-  to do     + -ive effective -uous, “tending to,” “inclined to.” Prefix      + Base  Meaning   + Suffix Word                                      con-           +         TIN-  to hold    + -uous continuous con-           + SPIC-  to look     + -uous conspicuous -ory, “tending to,” “inclined to.” Prefix      + Base  Meaning   + Suffix Word                                                                              intro- + DUCT-  to lead    + -ory introductory con-          + PULS-  to drive     + -ory compulsory contra- + DICT-  to speak     + -ory  contradictory Greek   Learn the following adjective-forming suffixes and there meanings: -ic (-ac after the letter  i), -tic, “pertaining to,” “like.” Prefix      + Base   Meaning   + Suffix Word                                                                              DESPOT-   to lead    + -ic   despotic epi-          + DEM-    to drive     +      -ic epidemic CARDI-    to speak     +      -ac cardiac STA-    to stand     +      -tic  static -ics, -tics, “art, science, or study of.” Base Meaning    +  Suffix Word ETH- custom      +   -ics ethics PHYS- nature      +   -ics physics GENE- to be produced  +   -tics genetics This was originally the plural form of the previous suffix and meant “things pertaining to,” but words which exhibit this suffix are usually treated as singular; e.g., “Modern physics is a rapidly advancing science.” -oid, “like,” “having the shape of.” Base Meaning + Suffix Word ADEN- gland + -oid adenoid SPHER- ball + -oid spheroid The following suffixes are actually of Latin origin but are frequently attached with Greek bases, so it would be useful to read through these again. -al, “pertaining to,””like,” “belonging to,” “having the character of.” Prefix + Base Meaning + Suffix + Suffix Word IDE- idea + -al ideal dia + GON- angle + -al diagonal ETH- custom + -ic + -al ethical -an (-ian), “pertaining to,” “like,” “one concerned with.” Prefix + Base Meaning + Suffix + Suffix Word amphi- + BI- life + -an antagonize BARBAR- foreign + -ian barbarian THE(O)- god + -logy + -an theologian                             -ous (-ious), “full of,” “pertaining to,” “like.” Prefix + Base Meaning + Suffix Word BARBAR- foreign + -ous barbarous amphi- + BI- life + -ous amphibious an- + ONYM- name + -ous anonymous  
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