Suffixes Lesson for Kids: Definition & Examples

Instructor: Shelly Merrell

Shelly has a Master's of Education. Most recent professional experience is an educational diagnostician. Prior, she taught for 8 years.

In this lesson, we are going to learn about word parts that can change the meaning of a word. These word parts are added to the end of a word. They are called suffixes.

What is a Suffix?

A suffix is a word part that is added to the end of a root word. Adding a suffix to the end of a word changes the word meaning. Let's review what a root word is. A root word is the main part that gives it meaning.

How Does It Work?

When we take a root word and add a suffix, or ending, we can change the word meaning. An example is teach + er = teacher. Teacher is one who teaches. Let's try again. Farm + er = farmer, which means one who farms.


-er- means one who. Let's think of some words with -er ending.

  • paint +-er = painter - this is one who paints
  • preach + er = preacher - this is one who preaches
  • pitch + er = pitcher - this is one who pitches

We can also use -er, to mean greater or more. Let's try this one out!

  • close + er = closer - this means one thing is more close than something else
  • large + er = larger - this means more large than something else
  • shiny + er = shinier - this means more shiny than something else

Now let's try the suffix -able. This means can be done.

  • understand + able = understandable - this means can be understood
  • compare + able = comparable - this means able to be compared
  • excite + able = excitable - this means can be excited

Now let's try the suffix -est, which means the most.

  • scary + est = scariest - this means the most scary
  • happy + est = happiest - this means the most happy
  • long + est = longest - this means the most long

More Examples

Now that we understand that suffixes go at the end of a root word, here are more common suffixes we can us.

  • - ful - this means full of

Some examples would be wonderful, thankful and colorful.

  • -less - this means without

Some examples of this are countless, careless, and spotless.

  • -ed - this means in the past

Passed, groaned and kicked are some examples of this one.

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