Suffixes are the groups of letters added to the end of a word.
base word + suffix = new word
The principle with suffixes is the same as with prefixes. You add the whole suffix to the whole base word.
throw ing = throwing
slow ly = slowly
resource ful = resourceful
However, there are three exceptions to this principle.
Luckily, there is a simple rule to help you remember this:
If the suffix begins with a vowel, you can drop the 'e' at the end of the base word. A 'y' is considered to be a vowel in this context.
fine + ed = fined
fire + ing = firing
lose + er = loser
laze + y = lazy
reserve + ation = reservation
But if the suffix begins with a consonant, you keep the 'e'.
hope + fully - hopefully
move + ment - movement
Exception - base words ending in ce or ge and the suffix is ous or able = keep the e!
enforce + able = enforceable
manage + able = manageable
trace + able = traceable
outrage + ous = outrageous
This is when you double the last letter of the base word before you add the suffix.
big + est = biggest
run + ing - running
There are three instances when doubling up should occur. These are easy to follow using the CVC rule. The CVC rule refers to base words that end in a consonant-vowel-consonant combination.
swim (ends in CVC)
warm (ends in VCC therefore not CVC)
The CVC rule and words with one syllable
If a one syllable word ends in a CVC combination you should double the last consonant when adding a suffix which begins with a vowel.
big + er = bigger
swim + ing = swimming
The CVC rule and words with more than one syllable
The basic principle of the CVC rule applies to longer words. If the base word ends in CVC and you're adding a suffix that begins with a vowel, you need to double the last consonant of the base word.
commit + ing = committing
Exception - when you do not emphasise the last syllable of the base word once the suffix has been added, do not double the last consonant!
Don't panic! This is simpler than it sounds:
If you have a base word of more than one syllable which ends in a CVC combination, and you are adding a suffix that begins with a vowel, you normally double the last consonant of the base word.
confer + ing = conferring
In the word 'conferring' all of the syllables are pronounced; con-fer-ring so the last consonant of the base word is doubled
If there is no accent on the last syllable of the base word once the suffix has been added, the last consonant of the base word is not doubled.
confer + ence = conference
In the word 'conference' there is no emphasis on the last syllable on the base word (confer) once the suffix has been added. Instead the word is pronounced 'con-frence'. Therefore there is no accent on the syllable 'fer'. In this situation, you do not double the last consonant of the base word.
Sometimes when adding a suffix to a word ending in 'y', you will have to change the 'y' to an 'i'.
This happens when the 'y' is proceeded by a consonant, or with any base word ending in 'y' if you are adding the suffix 'ing'.
study +ed = studied
busy + est = busiest
study + ing = studying
If a base word ends in 'y' and the 'y' is preceded by a vowel, the 'y' remains.
destroy + ed = destroyed
destroy + ing = destroying
1. In your notes, write out the correct spelling of the new words that would be created by adding together the base words and suffixs shown below.
2. Use the rules explained above to help with this activity.
3. Compare your answers to the one shown below.
4. If you got any of the answers wrong, review the rules explained above.
|base words||suffixes||new word|
When you have finished this activity, you can check your answers here.