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This article is about the linguistic term. For other uses, see Suffix (disambiguation).

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). A word-final segment that is somewhere between a free morpheme and a bound morpheme is known as a suffixoid[1] or a semi-suffix[2] (e.g., English -like or German -freundlich 'friendly').

Suffixes can carry grammatical information (inflectional suffixes) or lexical information (derivational suffixes). An inflectional suffix is sometimes called a desinence.[3]

Some examples in European languages:

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.
De beaux jours, where the suffix -x marks the plural.
Elle est passablement jolie, where the suffix -e marks the feminine form of the adjective.

Many synthetic languagesCzech, German, Finnish, Latin, Hungarian, Russian, Turkish, etc.—use a large number of endings.

Suffixes used in English frequently have Greek, French, or Latin origins.

Inflection changes grammatical properties of a word within its syntactic category. In the example:

I was hoping the cloth wouldn't fade, but it has faded quite a bit.

the suffix -ed inflects the root-word fade to indicate past tense.

Some inflectional suffixes in present day English:


  1. ^ Kremer, Marion. 1997. Person reference and gender in translation: a contrastive investigation of English and German. Tübingen: Gunter Narr, p. 69, note 11.
  2. ^ Marchand, Hans. 1969. The categories and types of present-day English word-formation: A synchronic-diachronic approach. Munich: Beck, pp. 356 ff.
  3. ^ The Free Online Dictionary

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1897 news items


Wed, 20 Aug 2014 23:00:00 -0700

Taipei signed a registry agreement with the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) Wednesday with the top-level domain suffix ".taipei" set to open for registration in November, according to Taipei's Department of Information ...
Mon, 04 Aug 2014 08:03:42 -0700

New Delhi: The Army has issued an order to its retired personnel saying they should use the word “retired” only as a suffix to their name as “rank never retires”. In its circular issued on 21 July, the Army headquarters said that it was seen that ...
New York Times
Tue, 26 Aug 2014 18:12:45 -0700

Today, as video is watched on smartphones and laptops rather than on living room couches, the .tv suffix — owned, improbably, by the tiny South Pacific island nation of Tuvalu — has become for some companies a chance to signal that they are showing ...

The West Australian

The West Australian
Mon, 01 Sep 2014 12:16:28 -0700

I understand that through custom and usage its meaning has changed to refer to both sexes: we only have to look at the similar, more established use of words with the Latin masculine "-or" suffix such as "director" to see how it needn't be an issue. It ...

Aviation International News

Aviation International News
Mon, 01 Sep 2014 01:15:00 -0700

Those aircraft are being rebadged with the “E” suffix, which stands for “enhanced,” he said. The 100E gets new wing spoilers that will reduce descent speeds and enhance the aircraft's lift-dump aerodynamic braking ability on the ground. There are also ...
The Week Magazine
Wed, 27 Aug 2014 08:56:15 -0700

In the 1990s, the suffix .tv was assigned to Tuvalu (Britain received .uk; France, .fr; and so on). At the height of the Internet gold rush, in 1999, a start-up named DotTV paid Tuvalu $50 million over 12 years for the right to sell .tv to other ...

Android Headlines - Android News

Mon, 01 Sep 2014 03:18:45 -0700

Bronze Award-winning patient murdering sim Bio Inc. - Biomedical Plague has finally made its way to the App Store, so if you fancy infecting a digital human being with awful diseases, now is your chance. The aim of the game is murder through the ...

Toronto Sun

Thu, 21 Aug 2014 09:01:55 -0700

Philibert said that although he could not speak for the Quebec government, he imagined the province would want to switch from the current gouv.qc.ca suffix to .quebec. In 2008, the National Assembly voted to support PointQuébec's bid for .quebec. He ...

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