The Spelling Rules for Adding Suffixes

Teaching point - learning to spell A suffix is a letter or group of letters added to the end of a root word to change its meaning.

Look at these examples:

English spelling English spelling
help + s = helps help + ing = helping help + ed = helped
help + er = helper help + ful = helpful help + less = helpless
helpful + ness = helpfulness helpful + ly = helpfully
English spelling English spelling

Learn the Words:
Study this word list 'Look, Say, Cover, Write, Check' spelling exercise English spelling games spelling test

In the above examples, you do not need to change the root word when you add a suffix.

In this unit, we will look at when you do need to change the root word.

Suffixes can be broken up into:
Vowel suffixes – the suffix begins with a vowel.
Consonant suffixes – the suffix begins with a consonant.

For example:

English spelling English spelling
Vowel suffixes

ing es ed er
en est ish y*
able ible al ous
English spelling English spelling

English spelling English spelling
Consonant suffixes

s less ful ness
ment ly ty
English spelling English spelling

*At the end of a word, y is pronounced with an ee sound.

Now try these. The first is done for you.

Find the suffix. Does it begin with a consonant or a vowel?

Select consonant or vowel:

When I broke my arm it was very painful. consonant
vowel
The plane landed with a hard bump. consonant
vowel
You look a lot cleaner after your bath. consonant
vowel
I can see sadness in his face. consonant
vowel
Let's all go sailing on Saturday. consonant
vowel
This blanket is dampish. consonant
vowel
The baby is quite restless tonight. consonant
vowel
The sun shone brightly all week. consonant
vowel
Add some flour to thicken the sauce. consonant
vowel
Is the mountain road passable in the snow? consonant
vowel
The fastest man won the race. consonant
vowel
The ground is dusty from lack of rain. consonant
vowel


 

Skip this exercise and go to the next part of this unit: Changing words when adding a suffix. *

* Skip link not available for logged in students.

X
X
Please turn your screen to landscape to play this game.
X

The Spellzone interactive course is intended to be used online and may not be printed.

Sign up to remove this advert

Your current location:

Unit 9: Adding suffixes: the spelling rules

Page 1 of 19

Try Spellzone for free

Dictionary



Sign up to remove this advert

"Thank goodness for Spellzone during this remote learning phase. The site is easy for students to navigate independently and they're really enjoying the activities and spelling games. You get an awful lot for your money with Spellzone. Really reassuring is the very prompt response with helpdesk queries. I've very rarely needed the helpdesk, but when I have, the issue has been addressed and sorted within a very short time."

Sarah Taggart, Oasis Academy Lord's Hill