A suffix is an element of a language that is added to the end of a word. E.g. -ly is a suffix often found at the end of adverbs: really, quickly, happily, strangely, etc., -d/-ed is a suffix often found at the end of a verb to denote the simple past: used, bruised, grazed, heated, etc.

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76 views

Is/could “noctophyte” be a word?

Let me preface this by saying that I am trying to come up with an interesting-sounding name for gamedev purposes. I'm looking for a potentially imaginary word that can be given a logical definition. ...
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1answer
49 views

Why “ConvertIBLE” and not “ConvertABLE” [duplicate]

Why do almost all words that are "able" written like: Comparable Disposable Doable Writable Except for the word "Convertible"? Can someone explain this to me or are there no rules tied to this? ...
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0answers
55 views

Are there suffixes akin to -phobe and -phile that are less extreme in meaning?

The suffix -phobia means fear of, often irrational fear of. For example, according to Wikipedia: Ophidiophobia or ophiophobia is a particular type of specific phobia, the abnormal fear of ...
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1answer
33 views

Nouns to adjectives: “-ous” vs. “-ful”

When turning nouns to adjectives, what is the rule for using the suffixes -ous or -ful? Why do pain/harm became painful/harmful and not painous or harmous? Why do glory/nerve become glorious/nervous ...
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4answers
258 views

Adding an L when appending an -ium suffix to a word? (Metallium vs. Metalium)

I am Romanizing a business name from Hebrew, and am wondering what the most appealing or 'correct' spelling might be - Metallium or Metalium. The owners of the business went with the latter, but my ...
6
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1answer
307 views

Diminutive forms in English.

In many languages, formation of diminutives by adding suffixes is a productive part of the language. Many languages apply a grammatical diminutive to nouns, a few—including Dutch, Italian and Russian ...
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2answers
122 views

The pronunciation of “peripheral”

Some time ago, I heard the pronunciation of the word peripheral on a TV show (Brain Games, to be exact). Very surprised to hear /pəɹɪfəɹəl/, I asked two close relatives whether that was how the word ...
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3answers
127 views

Spermatozoan or spermatozoal?

Spermatozoon is a single mature sperm cell. The plural is spermatozoa. Which of the following is correct: "Spermatozoal motility" or "spermatozoan motility"? Or should it be something else? Googling ...
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2answers
35 views

semi-business-related?

I'm writing my statement of purpose for grad school application. I would like to express "I came from an academic background that is half business-related", as I majored in E-business. What is the ...
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2answers
45 views

Can an adjective be converted into a noun by '-s'?

I saw a passage "this doesn't mean to get riches and honors." 'rich' is an adjective but 'riches' is a plural noun according to the dictionary. Are there any other examples where an adjective becomes ...
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0answers
44 views

The proper usage of 'compeer'; and is it a root word?

Compeer has a definition: A person of equal rank, status or ability What I am asking is what context is this word typically used? And equally important - is it valid to use the words compeering and ...
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1answer
68 views

When can/can't you add “-less” at the end of a word?

When can or can't you add -less at the end of a word? What are the limitations to its productivity? Can you say anything at all, like streakless or phoneless? I am really sorry for the stupid ...
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0answers
30 views

Usage question: “Relation” vs. “Relationship” [duplicate]

What is the difference between relation and relationship? What's the purpose of the suffix?
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2answers
99 views

Is there a suffix to form a noun from an adverb?

I want to know if we have a suffix which can be added to an adverb to form a noun. I have searched about that and I could not find anything about it.
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3answers
111 views

How did you know when to say “thing haveth or something”? [duplicate]

I have been watching Hocus Pocus and wondered how people in the 1800s knew when to add eth on the end of words.
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1answer
67 views

What are the standard suffixes to turn a location name into a personal discription?

When America becomes American, and Earth becomes Earthling, a suffix has been used. Is this slang or are there standard rules for this type of suffix? Most often I see/hear -ite, -an, -van or -er. ...
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0answers
98 views

Calibrate + able = Calibratible? Calibratable?

What is the consensus on the correct form of calibrate + able suffix? Wiktionary lists only one proper entry for "calibratable". Automotive industries prefer to use "calibratible" because it matches ...
5
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1answer
168 views

A rule for identifying the stressed syllable in abstract nouns ending in -ity. Is it foolproof?

When I was a student I was taught that the stressed syllable in an abstract noun ending in -ity is always the antepenultimate. e.g. reliability spontaneity ability felicity eternity rarity ...
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1answer
2k views

Is the plural of 'prefix' really 'prefixes' rather than 'prefices'?

It looks like the plural of 'prefix' is 'prefixes' - while I would expect it to be 'prefix' => 'prefices' like 'matrix' => 'matrices' or 'index' => 'indices'. Is 'prefix' an exception to the rule? ...
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0answers
83 views

In word construction, is there a affix order?

Does english have classes of prefixes and suffixes like it does adjectives, and if so, how are they usually ordered? For example, adjectives usually go in this order (or something like it): ...
7
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1answer
158 views

'-ible' suffix vs. '-able' suffix

This question comes about because I usually always spell the word incorrectly and the spell checker underlines in red the word: compatible. In my head, I always want to spell it compatable, and my ...
2
votes
2answers
119 views

What's the rule for transforming a verb into a noun if it ends in “ee”?

Usually a noun can be made from a verb by adding an -er as a suffix (to paint -> painter, to eat -> eater). What is the rule for verbs that already end with the letter "e", such as "see", "flee", ...
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2answers
674 views

History of '-itute' suffix?

What is the history of the suffix -itute, as in constitute, prostitute, institute, restitute, and substitute?
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1answer
34 views

Should I exclude the suffix when referring to someone using only their surname?

If I'm writing an article about John Smith III, I'll use his full name, including the suffix, when I first introduce him in the article. For example: "The owner of the dog, John Smith III, was ...
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2answers
33 views

What is the difference between “feudal” and “feudalistic”?

They are both adjectives related to feudalism. But what is the difference between the two in actual usage.
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2answers
2k views

Meaning of the ending “‑exia”?

If a word ends in -exia (such as dyslexia, anorexia, and pyrexia), does this imply anything about the word itself? For example, in electronics a word ending in ‑ance (such as impedance or ...
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3answers
145 views

Where does the suffix “-ker” come from?

A small number of words used in English have the derivational suffix "-ker" (maybe actually "-tiker"?), which appears to attach to words ending in "-sis". The only one I can remember off the ...
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0answers
31 views

pattern to predict -ent vs -ant? [duplicate]

Is there any pattern to predict whether to use -ant or -ent, in words such as those below? abundant / attendant / arrogant VS abhorrent / absorbent / dependent I find -ent seems to be more common... ...
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2answers
182 views

The use of the suffix -al in adjectives [duplicate]

As a non- native speaker of English, I often find myself struggling with the usage of the suffix -al in adjectives. For instance, what's the difference between the words "historic" and "historical", ...
4
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1answer
174 views

-igible, (suffix) [closed]

negligible = able to be neglected corrigible = able to be corrected dirigible = able to be directed eligible = able to be elected Are there any other words following this pattern?
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2answers
107 views

Word with -ee as a suffix

Is it correct English to be able to add the suffix -ee on to any verb to show the object of that verb? Ex: Abandonee is "one to whom something is abandoned" Observee is "one who is observed" ...
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3answers
309 views

Verb + '-ly' = adjectvie?

I am learning in Korea. So I rarely have an opportunity of real English. Anyway, My Teacher said that 'noun + -ly = adjective' and 'adjective + -ly = adverbs' Then, what about 'verb + -ly'? Is it ...
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3answers
108 views

Suffix comparing more than 2 items composed of only 2 degrees of importance?

I have three items A, B, and C. A and B are of equal argumentative strength. C is of very weak argumentative strength. Would I say "A and B are the stronger of the arguments." or "A and B are the ...
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2answers
85 views

Appending a suffix to a term which consists of multiple words

I would like to express the circumstance that a device is something like a cash register, but not quite the same. I would like to append the suffix '-like' to do so. However, I am unsure how to ...
46
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6answers
6k views

How did phobia ever come to mean hatred?

I understand the word 'phobia' to mean an irrational fear of something, tracing its roots to the Greek word ῾φοβια᾽ associated with flight, dread, or terror. How then did this word ever come to ...
3
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2answers
248 views

How would you invent the word for 'fear of standing next to beds'?

It is known that there is a proper word for almost any phobia you can think of. What is the etymology of such? And how would one construct the word for the phobia of standing next to beds; because of ...
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3answers
755 views

Motive, Motivative, or Motivating?

What is the most fitting adjective to describe '(something) that motivates' among motive, motivative, and motivating? EDIT: Reading from the answers that 'motive' is not an adjective, actually I put ...
0
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1answer
215 views

Is it correct to use the suffix -ian when referring to names? [duplicate]

Oftentimes when reading academic texts I will come across the suffix "-ian" as a way to denote ownership. While I find it fitting syntactically (it "feels" right), I don't remember ever learning it ...
1
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1answer
1k views

Why do the names of so many places end in -ia?

Many countries, continents, states, and cities have an English name ending in ‘-ia’: India, Indonesia, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Australia, Asia, Alexandria, Philadelphia, California, … What ...
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2answers
135 views

Word to describe “-ie” suffix that is not intended as a diminutive

I know I can use "doggie" to refer to a dog and that's a diminutive form, but what about words like "selfie" or "foodie" that aren't necessarily meant to diminish by adding an "-ie?" Is there a term ...
2
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1answer
83 views

How does one write a suffix on double words?

I was wondering how I should write words like "control structureless". Should you keep the space between the words, concatenate them or use a hyphen? In my native language, Dutch, we would write ...
8
votes
2answers
289 views

Are some grammar rules different for Latin origin nouns with the ‑ion suffix?

Two questions on ELL.SE, one involving the word division and the other about the word implementation, made me realize that I treat these words differently without really understanding the grammatical ...
2
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1answer
797 views

How do you describe someone who is into incest?

pedophile - one who is into pre-pubescent children _____phile - one who is into incest? Is there a single word that fits into "He's a ______" to describe someone who is into incest? A hyphenated ...
2
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0answers
173 views

What is origin of suffix '-stan', as in Hindustan, Afghanistan? [closed]

As a supplementary, is -stan related to 'sthan' (Sanskrit)?
2
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1answer
651 views

Whats the difference between “-ist” and “-er”

The suffixes -ist, and -er are added to a base word to name a person who does an action: pitch, pitcher. Some more examples: carpenter artist painter nationalist banker dentist ...
2
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2answers
179 views

-gate, and gamergate

I have always understood the phrase ____-gate to refer to a controversy or conflict. For example, deflate-gate was the hubbub around whether the Patriots intentionally deflated balls during the AFC ...
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12answers
12k views

What word means a “male temptress”?

I was trying to describe a man who entices others into making bad decisions. I have several closely related questions: Is it okay in English to refer to a man as a temptress? Is there a uniquely ...
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2answers
177 views

What is the tense used in a phrase such as “He is trapped”?

I've read that the -ed suffix usually indicates a "past participle" (as in "I was trapped"), but: I'm not sure what part-of-speech "trapped" functions as in the phrase. Indicating present state ...
12
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2answers
1k views

Abolition vs. Abolishment

At times I have caught myself writing the noun form of abolish as "abolishment" and then pausing before realizing it should really be "abolition". Even as I type my spellchecker tells me that ...
13
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1answer
688 views

How is “erogenous” incorrectly formed?

When I check the etymology of erogenous in OED, it is mentioned that it is incorrectly formed (along with erogenic). Etymology of erogenous from OED: formed as erogenic adj. + -ous suffix. ...