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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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A term for an ending that makes a subject from a verb?

I was looking up "wallah" and the OED said "from the Hindi suffix -vālā ‘doer’" and I was wondering if there was a term for suffixes like this. I suspect the answer is really trivial More English ...
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Duplication of action noun

In English, nouns of action are often formed from verbs via the suffix -ion, e.g. instruct to instruction. There are variations such as interpret to interpretation, but the grammatical process is the ...
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25 views

Gerund vs -ation suffix: preserving vs preservation [migrated]

I want to say: The end of Modernist era's characteristic is preservation/preserving of historic buildings. Which is more appropriate? Do they have very different meanings? I think they could be ...
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Is the verb suffix -en (as in light->lighten) rooted in German?

Is the verb suffix -en (as in light->lighten) rooted in German? German verbs in their infinitive form always end in -en.
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Is there a suffix that means “the science of…”

I'm writing a fantasy book and I'm trying to come up with words to describe certain magic subjects and I want it to sound right.
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96 views

Usage of wide as a suffix

I've looked for the subject, but I don't find a comprehensive answer. I've checked Fowler's MEU, but I'm not happy with the answers I find because I don't find the precise point I'm looking for, so I ...
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Suffix corresponding to an idea described with two nouns

Please pardon my lack of understanding for major English Language concepts, I'll be using layman's terms. Now, I've encountered this issue in the past while writing. Consider this text: That was ...
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63 views

Is 'fer' a somewhat usual spelling of 'for', or is it perhaps restricted to cricket ('five-fer')?

-fer a suffix to any number, meaning the number of wickets taken by a team or bowler. (See also fifer/five-fer) Wikipedia I assume that 'fer' means, or is derived from, 'for' with the usually ...
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66 views

What determines the stress of an adjective formed by adding “-ive” to a verb ending in “-ate”?

Some verbs ending in -ate keep their original syllable stress when you add the suffix -ive to form an adjective e.g., imitate/imitative meditate/meditative investigate/investigative For ...
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100 views

Past tense of MOT? [duplicate]

I'm usually quite good at this kind of thing but can't decide on this. When describing when a car has had its MOT (Ministry of Transport) test do I write... Recently MOTd Recently MOT'd Recently ...
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43 views

Why is the “up” in “sign-up” related to “creating a new account” but “in” in “sign-in” refers to a existing one? [closed]

What is the difference between in and up that causes the meaning of sign to change? Research: etymonline's entries for sign-in and sign-up don't help much.
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292 views

Do prefixes & suffixes have antonyms?

Question Do prefixes & suffixes have antonyms? As in, is it possible for a prefix or suffix to not have an antonym? Example Google defines "-gon" as: -gon combining form in nouns ...
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Difference between the -genous and -ginous word suffixes

I was wondering whether anyone knows the exact difference between the English suffixes -agenous and -aginous. I believe the difference is that the first suffix has to do with describing the rough ...
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How do I write a variable as an ordinal number?

I'm charged with translating a technical document into English, and ran into a bit of an odd problem: the document refers to undefined numbers of elements, and uses letters to represent those numbers, ...
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105 views

“Fadable” vs. “Fadeable”: which is preferred?

This answer has some great insight on adding -able to the word "scrape". I'm wondering if there is any reason to use "fadable". "Fadeable" has a very clear pronunciation and is how I would guess it ...
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Does the “-s” change the word class of “it”? [closed]

The word it is a pronoun. When I add an s to it, does it change the word class? For example in the following sentence: The gift is still in its box. My questions are: Does the "S" change ...
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1answer
64 views

Do I use the suffix -ist or -istic in adjectival forms of words that end in -ism

So basically, I want to use the word infallibilism in its adjectival form and I don't whether to write infallibilist or infallibilistic. I have to say the former sounds better for some reason. An ...
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2answers
350 views

Would you please explain to me the morphology of the word retroviral?

I cannot understand the morphology of the word retroviral. is "re" the prefix? I think the prefix might be retro, is that true? is "al the suffix? I am assuming that "viral" is the root, is ...
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99 views

Synonyms for -mancy (like necromancy)

It's common enough for a type of magic to be described in fantasy as *-mancy: Arithmancy in Harry Potter, Astromancy in Warhammer 40k, etc. that picking a Greek or Latin root and adding -mancy is ...
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1answer
51 views

What is the proper definition of this suffix, if any?

What would the suffix of the following words be known as, if anything? I have seen a pattern and am wanting to see if what I am seeing has any actual merit and history, or if this is just me ...
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591 views

Why do we write “fixing” instead of “fixxing”?

When we have one vowel and one consonant and we want to add 'ing', we usually double the last consonant. Why don't we add an extra 'x' to the word 'fix'? We don't double 'w' and 'y' maybe because they ...
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Why is it “argument” instead of “arguement”?

Why would you replace the <e> in argue before affixing <-ment>?
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1answer
348 views

Word Formation: Noun Suffixes and their Spelling and Stress Shift Rules

I've been having a real hard time trying to gather information about word formation in English, more specifically about the rules involving suffixes that turn verbs and adjectives into nouns. But not ...
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2answers
147 views

“atheistic scientist” vs “atheist scientist” [closed]

I know that it's "atheist scientist" but "atheistic regime", "atheist YouTuber" but "atheistic channel" in common use but I can't find out why. When do we use "atheistic" and when "atheist" and why? ...
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Why do some ---ify verbs have a different noun ending?

The following verbs follow a pattern as to their associated noun: rectify / rectification amplify / amplification exemplify / exemplification sanctify / sanctification clarify / clarification ...
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When is it possible to form an adjective ending in “-onian”? Could we say “Marxonian”?

Why do we use the adjective "Marxist" and not "Marxonian"? Please explain the use of these unusual suffixes. Another one that comes to mind is "Draconian". How do we decide what suffix to use? What ...
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39 views

Using the verb “line” for something round [closed]

When we use the verb "line" in the following sense: The room was lined with bookshelves. We drove along a tree-lined highway. Does "lined" necessarily have to denote things that run in a ...
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Irregular verbs: the history of the suffix “-en” used in past participles

Recently, I've been helping my home students learn the past participles of some of the irregular verbs, in a "new" way. Basically, I show that sometimes the suffix -(e)n is added to the PRESENT stem. ...
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2answers
403 views

Contentious vs Contentment - same root but different meaning [closed]

I am having trouble in figuring it out why there is a difference between their meaning as i think that the root "content" is shared by both the words content + ious ; content + ment where contentment ...
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304 views

“Science fiction-y”

I recently saw a TED Talk in which the speaker used the term "science fiction-y", making an adjective out of "science fiction". Is it ok to form your own adjectives in that way? If so, should there be ...
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655 views

The history of the English “postmeridian”

There's a question on English Language Learners that's been making the rounds recently, it's been on the Hot Network Questions list since January 5 this year and has attracted something like 36,000 ...
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How is “burial” incorrectly formed?

OED says that: Middle English buryel, biriel, incorrectly formed as a singular of byriels, buriels n., q.v.; in later times associated with nouns in -al from French, such as espousal-s. Etymonline....
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What’s the diminutive form of “reindeer”?

Could you please tell me what the diminutive form of reindeer is? How do children call it? A pig is 'piggy', a dog is 'doggy', a reindeer is ... 'reinee'?
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293 views

Is there a name for when a prefix changes its meaning due to being strongly associated to a single word?

The prefix "crypto-" originally meant "hidden". Now, due to its association with "cryptography", the prefix has shifted to mean something more like "secure" when used in new words, e.g. "...
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How do you make a surname show where you live? [closed]

If one wanted to show where they came from, for example: first name: David Last name: of the white mountains Would there be a prefix/suffix? (like the "Mc" in McDonalds)
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Why doesn't “astronomy” end with an “s”?

I heard that many disciplines whose names end with the letter “s” as if they were plural actually came from Greek/Latin words of plural form (e.g. mathematics from mathematika). It seems like, however,...
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Is there a Male suffix equivalent to -et/-ette?

I wanted to add a suffix to crone and damsel that would make them masculine without resorting to a male equivalent word, (that's a different question.) We have the male-to-female conversion example ...
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Can I change the suffix of a work in a direct quote?

Okay so the quote I am using is "... shielding the public from the messy, imprecise consequences of a war—making the coverage incomplete, and even deceptive." Am I able to change shielding to shield? ...
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Why do we often add 'r' sounds at the end of verbs to convert them to nouns?

Pretty much as described in the question - what's the origin of this pattern? Is it specific to English, or did we borrow it from another language? For example, the verb "play" becomes a noun when we ...
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4answers
541 views

Is “rejectance” a proper / legitimate word?

Is rejectance an actual word that is interchangeable with rejection? I have not found it in any of the dictionaries available to me. I heard this word from a startup owner, who said the phrase: "...
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Activable or Activatable?

A guy suggested changing my word from "activable" to "activatable". Chrome's spell checker also suggests that. However, I can see activable in most dictionaries (1, 2, 3) while I don't see activatable ...
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The “old switcheroo”: Where did the “-eroo” suffix come from?

The -eroo suffix works as an intensifier of sorts, though it also seems to have other, less well-defined properties. The online OED has only this to say about it: -eroo, suffix   ...
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What is the difference between “wondrous” and “wonderful”?

I have done some research, and I have a hypothesis, largely based on an answer to this same question on Quora. First, allow me to state my research. I looked up the definitions of these two words on ...
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Plural of -choron and -hedroid suffixes?

Many 4D shapes carry the suffixes -choron and -hedroid (such as that as the hexadecachoron/hexadecahedroid). What would the general plural forms of these suffixes be? Only reason I ask is hope that ...
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312 views

When to add -ist and -er suffix

Is there a reason as to why certain roles end in different suffixes, like -ist and -er? For example, why can't a runner be a 'runnist'? Or an artist to 'arter'?
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Single word for “being too much like a student”

To clarify, being too much like a student can mean one of the following: insistent on being "right" rather than flexible/diplomatic (at workplace) passively waiting to be assigned "homework" rather ...
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Assessees or assessed patient?

I am writing a report about an assessment, the subject of the assessment is a large group of patients and their health. The report refers to the patients repeatedly. my question is : how proper/common/...
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Does adding the suffix “ality” to a noun change its meaning?

I thought that -ality was used to turn an adjective into a noun : bestial to beastiality, final to finality. But I see that some people add it onto the end of nouns : criminal to criminality, ...
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358 views

Is “logicalising” a valid word? [closed]

Is logicalising a valid word, if the meaning was to make something supposedly 'illogical', logical?
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-able & -ability usage: Why can't “searchability” be a word? (Or can it?)

Sometimes I edit a question title on Stack Exchange in order to make it more clear and easier for users to find it when searching. In the comment field I usually enter: "Title edited for clarity and ...