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These 35 Spanish Suffixes Will Supercharge Your Vocabulary


Outdoors of your highschool English class, you won’t give a second thought to suffixes. We’re right here to welcome you again into the fold as you study Spanish and revisit the elements of speech you tucked away. Whereas some are trickier than others, you may think about your foray into Spanish suffixes a fortunate discover. Like Spanish cognate phrases and prefixes, we think about them a not-so-secret language shortcut! 

Plus, we suggest pairing your grammar research with much more methods to spice up your vocabulary. In addition they occur to be a bit extra enjoyable: from listening to Spanish music to curling up with a very good guide

Grasp these 35 widespread Spanish suffixes under to multiply your phrase financial institution quick—after which strive Rosetta Stone that will help you get most publicity to conversational Spanish in a fascinating context. Since you’re studying by means of our Dynamic Immersion method, somewhat than rote memorization of Spanish grammar guidelines, you’ll construct a deeper, extra enduring understanding of the language—and also you’ll retain data higher alongside the way in which! 

However first, try the 35 suffixes that you must know, and study extra about how these phrase endings can assist you decode key vocabulary.

Why Spanish suffixes are so essential 

A suffix, or sufijo in Spanish, is a kind of affix, part of a phrase that may modify its which means.  A suffix is connected to the top of a Spanish root phrase, whereas a prefix is discovered at first of a phrase.  

Whereas prefixes usually carry new which means to the phrase itself, Spanish suffixes can serve to alter the a part of speech, intensify, or tone down the phrase. You may say that suffixes, which might range in utilization between completely different Spanish-speaking areas, also can add some personalidad (persona) to your Spanish!  

Studying a protracted record of suffixes won’t be interesting till you begin multiplying the Spanish root phrases you already know with some widespread and easy-to-learn suffixes, gaining vocabulary data quickly. This record of 35 Spanish suffixes will mean you can improve the variety of Spanish root phrases you can decode with out having you memorize a ton of Spanish grammar guidelines! 

Let’s check out this instance:

concentración is just like the verb concentrar  (to pay attention) 

-ción = just like “-tion” in English; kinds a noun

With this in thoughts, now you can accurately infer that the noun concentración  (focus), is a barely completely different type from the verb concentrar (to pay attention)  and even the adjective concentrada (concentrated, female settlement). Apply these patterns to the same phrase, and also you’ll discover an easy-to-decode sample: 

dedicación = dedication, a noun

dedicar = to dedicate, a verb

dedicada = devoted, an adjective, female settlement 

Suffixes just like the one above not solely make it easier to in boosting the amount of your vocabulary, but in addition the standard. With them, you’ll have the ability to break down sophisticated phrases into smaller elements that will help you:

  • comprehend extra subtle texts,
  • observe patterns to guess at meanings of unfamiliar phrases,
  • perceive the depth or formality of the tone, and
  • decipher the grammatical gender of nouns and adjectives in a sentence. 

There are myriad different advantages, too! Suffixes can assist you: 

  • select a extra exact phrase, 
  • talk with applicable nuance to convey the meant which means of a message,
  • type nouns, adjectives, and adverbs out of identified Spanish root phrases or verbs
  • keep away from repetition of qualifier phrases similar to “very” or “little” 

Definitely worth the grammar class flashbacks, proper? Now, let’s check out how Spanish suffixes relate to English ones. 

How do English and Spanish suffixes examine? 

A way of accomplishment is true across the nook. Though not each Spanish suffix appears as just like English as -ción (-tion), recognizing only a few patterns can assist you swap the ending of a phrase and rapidly perceive its which means, particularly when the phrases are cognates, or phrases that look related and carry the identical which means. Let’s check out: 

electricidad = electricity

positividad = positivity

These look very related and straightforward to determine already, however this sample of phrases with -dad = “-ty” might make it easier to perceive: 

unidad = unity

caridad = charity 

felicidad = felicity, a synonym for “happiness”

Figuring out Spanish suffixes will add claridad (readability) to your comunicación (communication). 

Should-know Spanish suffixes 

1. -al

The way it’s used: to type adjectives associated to nouns, which means “pertaining to”

al is utilized in many English cognates with the identical suffix. It might probably describe traits and qualities associated to the basis noun. 

  • cultural = pertaining to tradition
  • pure = pertaining to nature  
  • tradicional = pertaining to custom 
  • private = pertaining to an individual

2. -ción

The way it’s used: to type nouns associated to verbs and processes

-ción is utilized in many English cognates with the suffix “-tion.” These are widespread nouns that may be useful to explain educational or work actions.  

  • la traducción = translation, from verb traducir (to translate) 
  • la presentación = presentation, from verb presentar (to current) 
  • la evaluación = analysis, from verb evaluar (to guage) 
  • la conversación = dialog, from verb conversar (to converse)

3. -dad

The way it’s used: to type nouns associated to adjectives

-dad is utilized in lots of the identical phrases the place English may use “-ty” or “-ity.” It might probably additionally take the kinds –tad, -idad or -edad.  

  • la libertad = freedom, liberty
  • la simplicidad = simplicity
  • la igualdad = equality
  • la verdad = fact, just like English synonym “verity” 

4. -mente

The way it’s used: to type adverbs from associated adjectives

-mente is added to the female type of a singular adjective to type the adverb. A easy swap for “-ly” in English will make it easier to determine and type these adverbs. 

  • lentamente = slowly
  • frecuentemente = steadily
  • extremadamente = extraordinarily
  • especialmente = particularly

5. -ble

The way it’s used: to type adjectives, often from verbs

-ble can point out a chance, capability, or aptitude to obtain the motion of a verb. It may be acknowledged in phrases ending in -able and -ible

  • comestible = edible, associated to the verb comer (to eat)
  • amable = type, good, pleasant, associated to the verb amar (to like)  
  • admirable = cognate associated to the verb admirar (to admire) 
  • sostenible = sustainable, associated to the verb sostener (to maintain) 

6. -itis

The way it’s used: to suggest an irritation

-itis carries which means, in contrast to many suffixes. It signifies that the noun it’s connected to is infected, or irritated, and might be useful in medical conditions. 

  • la hepatitis = irritation of the liver
  • la apendicitis = irritation of the appendix 
  • la artritis = irritation of the articulaciones (joints) 
  • la sinusitis = irritation of the sinuses

7. -grafo / -grafa

The way it’s used: a component of a compound phrase that may perform as a suffix

-grafo carries the which means of “writing” or “recording.” It’s usually used to confer with folks in these sorts of professions, arts, or expertise. It might probably often take two kinds, one for masculine, and one for female.  

  • un biógrafo / una biógrafa = a biographer
  • un fotógrafo / una fotógrafa = a photographer
  • un geógrafo / una geógrafa = a geographer
  • un cartógrafo / una cartógrafa = a cartographer (an individual who attracts maps) 

8. -ista

The way it’s used: to type adjectives which can be associated to nouns, or nouns for an individual of a selected occupation 

-ista– can type adjectives associated to related nouns of persona or id. Additionally it is seen in lots of occupations, however there is just one type for each masculine and female.  

  • optimista = optimistic
  • realista = practical 
  • un/una periodista = journalist
  • un/una dentista = dentist

9. -dor / -dora

The way it’s used: nouns or adjectives associated to verbs 

-dor and -dora are used for professions, often with each a masculine and female type. It might probably flip verbs right into a associated adjective for an individual inclined towards an motion or performing an motion. It can be used to specific a spot the place that motion is often carried out. 

  • un luchador / una luchadora = a fighter, wrestler, associated to luchar (to struggle) 
  • un escritor / una escritora = a author, associated to escribir (to write down)
  • trabajador / trabajadora = hard-working, associated to trabajar (to work) 
  • hablador / habladora = talkative, associated to hablar (to talk, to speak) 
  • un comedor = a eating room, associated to comer (to eat) 

10. -ero / -era 

The way it’s used: to type nouns derived from verbs or different nouns 

-ero / -era  usually denotes a career or particular person concerned within the root phrase. There are often two kinds for masculine or female. 

  • un cocinero / una cocinera = a prepare dinner or chef, associated to cocinar (to prepare dinner) and cocina (kitchen) 
  • un viajero / una viajera = a traveler, associated to viajar (to journey) 
  • un minero / una minera  = a miner, associated to la mina (the mine) 
  • una cartero / una cartera = a letter service, associated to la carta (the letter)
  • un panadero / una panadera = a baker, associated to el pan (the bread)  

11. -logía

The way it’s used: to type a noun associated to a subject of research

-logía carries the which means of “the research of,” just like the English suffix “-logy” or “-ology.”  These phrases are sometimes names of particular skilled fields or educational disciplines.  

  • la biología = biology, the research of life
  • la arqueología = archeology, the research of human historical past by means of bodily stays
  • la teología = theology, the research of the character of God and non secular perception
  • la ecología = ecology, the research of relationship of organisms and their surroundings

12. -ía

The way it’s used: to type nouns from different nouns or adjectives

-ía– can point out a state of affairs, state of being, situation, or high quality. In English, a few of these phrases would use the suffix “-ness.” 

  • la alegría = pleasure, associated to alegre (comfortable, joyful) 
  • la grosería = profanity, rudeness  
  • la tontería = nonsense, foolishness
  • la valentía = bravery

13. -ería

The way it’s used: to type a noun from a career or noun

-ería is straightforward to know while you swap it with the phrases ”store,”or “a spot the place they promote” and the basis phrase. It’s usually mixed with a phrase for the career related to the placement. 

  • una panadería = a bakery, a spot the place the panadero (baker) sells pan (bread) 
  • una carnicería = a butcher store, a spot the place the carnicero (butcher) sells carne (meat) 
  • una pizzería = a spot the place they promote pizza
  • una heladería = a spot the place they promote helado (ice cream) 
  • una librería = a guide store, a spot the place they promote books, to not be confused with biblioteca (library)

14. -oso / -osa

The way it’s used: to type adjectives from nouns, verbs, or different adjectives

-oso / -osa can point out an abundance or high quality of the basis phrase when derived from nouns or adjectives. Many of those Spanish phrases translate to English phrases with the suffixes “-ous” or “-ful.” 

  • doloroso / dolorosa = painful 
  • famoso / famosa = well-known 
  • dudoso / dudosa = uncertain
  • curioso / curiosa = curious

15. -anza

The way it’s used: to type nouns from verbs, or associated to adjectives 

-anza can present a high quality, or a trigger and impact.  

  • la esperanza = hope, associated to esperar (to hope) 
  • la confianza = confidence
  • la semejanza = similarity
  • una buena crianza = a very good upbringing, associated to criar (to lift) 

16. -torio / -toria

The way it’s used: kinds nouns and adjectives 

-torio / -toria are just like cognates in English utilizing “-tory,” and may point out a spot the place an motion happens. It might probably additionally imply, “characterised by” or “related to.”  

  • un laboratorio  = a laboratory 
  • un observatorio = an observatory
  • compensatorio = compensatory, characterised by compensation
  • obligatorio = compulsory, characterised by obligation

17. -iento / -ienta

The way it’s used: to type adjectives from nouns

-iento and -ienta  are useful phrases to explain emotions or situations. A few of these emotions are additionally expressed utilizing nouns in Spanish, as within the instance, tengo sed (I’m thirsty, actually “I’ve thirst) or tengo hambre (I’ve starvation).  

  • sediento / sedienta = thirsty, having thirst
  • hambriento / hambrienta = hungry, having starvation 
  • sangriento = bloody
  • grasiento = greasy, oily

18. -miento 

The way it’s used: to type nouns from verbs 

-miento might be simply understood in the event you swap it with English nouns ending in “-ing.”

  • el suframiento = struggling, associated to sufrir (to undergo) 
  • el florecimiento = flowering, blooming, associated to florecer (to flower, to bloom) 
  • el sentimiento = feeling, associated to sentir (to really feel) 
  • el pensamiento= thought, associated to pensar (to assume) 

19. -ante / -ente / -iente

The way it’s used: to type adjectives from verbs

-ante / -ente / -iente might be just like English phrases ending in “-ant” or “-ent.” They describe inherent qualities or traits.     

  • elegante = elegant
  • impresionante = spectacular
  • inteligente = clever
  • persistente = persistent  
  • valiente = courageous

20. -ez 

The way it’s used: to type nouns from adjectives

-ez  refers to a high quality of the basis phrase, used as a noun. There are a number of English suffixes that correspond with this Spanish suffix.     

  • la fluidez = fluency
  • la madurez = maturity 
  • la timidez = shyness
  • la delicadez = decency or tact (to not be confused with la delicadeza = delicateness)

21. -ecer

The way it’s used: to type a verb from an adjective or noun

-ecer exhibits that the phrase is a verb. It denotes a change or a change. 

  • entristecer = changing into triste (unhappy) 
  • amanecer = to start to get mild, to daybreak  
  • anochecer = to turn out to be evening
  • aclarecer = to turn out to be clear 

22. -ear

The way it’s used: to type a verb from nouns or adjectives

-ear is seen in lots of newly shaped verbs that come up from new applied sciences. They’re discovered steadily in widespread day by day actions, as there are lots of of verbs with this suffix.  

  • chatear = to talk
  • textear = to textual content, an informal method to say ship an SMS message
  • teclear = to kind, associated to the teclado (keyboard)
  • deletrear = to spell 

23. -izar

The way it’s used: to type a verb from a noun or adjective

-izar implies a transition, trigger, or transformation in lots of instances. It’s usually a cognate of the English suffix “-ize.”

  • actualizar = to replace, to make present
  • energizar = to energise, to make stuffed with power
  • fertilizar = to fertilize, to make fertile
  • suavizar = to melt, to make comfortable

24. -ificar

The way it’s used: to type a verb from a noun or adjective 

-ficar carries the which means of a change into a high quality or state of the bottom phrase. It’s just like the English suffix “ify.” 

  • purificar = to purify, to make pure
  • solidificar = to solidify, to make strong
  • petrificar = to petrify, to harden
  • pacificar = to pacify, to make peaceable or calm 

25. -ísimo / ísima

The way it’s used: to amplify an adjective, augmentative 

Ísimo and –ísima are augmentatives.  It exaggerates the bottom phrase, emphasizes, or intensifies it. It might probably take the place of phrases similar to muy (very) or extremadamente (extraordinarily). It may be utilized in each a literal and ironic sense. It’s usually employed in informal or casual speech. 

  • buenísimo / buenísima = extraordinarily good
  • carísimo / carísima = extremely costly 
  • muchísimo / muchísima = greater than mucho, so much, a ton, an enormous quantity
  • rapidísimo / rapidísima = extraordinarily quick 

26. -azo / -aza

The way it’s used: to indicate appreciation of a noun, augmentative

-azo and -aza can exaggerate the price, measurement, or worth of the bottom noun. It can be used to speak a couple of hit or a blow. It’s often utilized in colloquial or casual speech.

  • un cochazo = a luxurious or spectacular automotive 
  • un golazo = an incredible aim scored at a key second in a soccer/soccer match, usually shouted with enthusiasm 
  • un portazo = a slam of a puerta (door) 
  • un puñetazo = a punch with a puño (fist)

27. -ote / -ota

The way it’s used: augmentative, to emphasise the dimensions or magnitude of a noun  

-ote and -ota can exaggerate or admire the dimensions of a noun. It can be utilized in sure contexts to be pejorative, however in others it may be endearing. In informal speech, context is essential, so it won’t be recommendable for a newbie to make use of these phrases with out greedy how they is perhaps understood by others.  

  • cabezota = actually, a giant head, however informally, a cussed or obstinate particular person
  • grandote = very large 
  • amigote = pal, little buddy (not in a pleasant approach)  

28. -ito / ita

The way it’s used: diminutive, endearing 

-ito / ita on the finish of a base phrase can confer with smallness in a literal sense.  It might probably additionally soften a phrase, make it extra affectionate or cute, or make it sound extra pleasant in tone. Generally resulting from spelling, the suffix will probably be -cito or -cita.  These diminutives are additionally usually present in first names, similar to “Anita”  or “Benito” instead of their extra formal kinds. As with augmentatives (like -ote in librote, a giant, heavy guide), Spanish learners ought to pay shut consideration to the change in tone or which means when utilizing these suffixes.

  • una hermanita = slightly sister, youthful sister
  • un poquito = a tiny bit, a diminutive of un poco (slightly bit) 
  • prontito = actually quickly 
  • gordito = chubby, in a cute approach, somewhat than gordo (fats) which might sound harsher. 
  • mi amiguita = my little buddy, in an affectionate approach.  It may very well be romantic, like a girlfriend.

29. -illo / illa

The way it’s used: diminutive and appreciative 

-illo and -illa are diminutives, actually indicating smallness, but in addition endearment. They’re generally utilized in casual speech, in related methods as -ito / -ita. It might probably soften the depth of the bottom noun.    

  • un panecillo = a bread roll or bun, associated to pan (bread)
  • amorcillo = the cupid determine, associated to amor (love) 
  • una puntilla = a small tack or brad, associated to una punta (a pointy level or tip) 
  • un problemilla = slightly drawback, to melt the phrase problema (drawback)

30. -ón / ona

The way it’s used: augmentative, usually derogatory 

-ón / ona usually carry pejorative undertones as an augmentative. Whereas context is all the time essential, it’s essential to know the context for efficient communication. There are some nouns that merely carry the which means of a big type of the bottom phrase, with out the judgment. 

  • llorón / llorona = a crybaby, a whiner
  • una solterona = a spinster, pejorative time period for an single lady, associated to soltera (single) 
  • mirón / mirona = nosy, busybody, all the time listening to the enterprise of others
  • un sillón = a big armchair, part of sofa, or simple chair.  A bigger type of una silla (a chair) 

31. -acho / -acha

The way it’s used: augmentative, pejorative 

-acho / -acha can boost a noun in a destructive approach, relying on the context and tone. Like different suffixes generally utilized in informal communication, it is very important perceive the context for efficient communication. Don’t be alarmed at some widespread nouns that simply occur to finish in -acho / -acha, although, like gazpacho (a scrumptious chilly tomato-based soup), or muchacha (a teenage woman).   

  • un ricacho = a dirty wealthy particular person, pejorative
  • un borracho  = a drunkard
  • un poblacho = a dump, a run-down city 

32. -ín / ina 

The way it’s used: diminutive 

ín / ina– can be utilized in a diminutive sense, and relying on context and tone, may very well be derogatory, or endearing. As soon as once more, to speak successfully utilizing casual language, a learner should take note of much more than the spelling of suffixes. This suffix might additionally point out sure professions when paired with verbs as base phrases. 

  • chiquitín = slightly child, affectionately
  • un calebacín= a zucchini squash, a small vegetable within the household of calabazas (pumpkin, massive squash)
  • bailarina = a dancer

33. -ajo / -aja

The way it’s used: to type nouns and adjectives, diminutive, derogatory 

-ajo / -aja  are two extra suffixes to watch out with. They can be utilized alone or with -arro or -strajo to be insulting.   

  • el comistrajo = horrible meals, a rubbish meal
  • una pequeñaja = slightly brat
  • un colgajo = a dangling flap, insulting

34. -ucho / -ucha

The way it’s used: diminutive, often derogatory

-ucho / -ucha are suffixes that may flip typical adjectives into insults, so they’re greatest dealt with with care. You will need to perceive the context and tone when utilizing informal speech.  

  • debilucho = wimpy, puny, weakling
  • un medicucho = a quack, a dishonest physician with inferior {qualifications}
  • malucha = underneath the climate, bummed out 

35. -ismo

The way it’s used: to type nouns associated to perception, doctrine, or actions.

-ismo is just like the English suffix “-ism.”  It may be useful to debate attitudes, faith, beliefs, or traits. There are additionally a number of sports activities and actions that use this suffix. 

  • el budismo = Buddhism
  • el impresionismo = impressionism, a motion in artwork
  • el individualismo = individualism
  • el atletismo = observe and subject

Broaden your Spanish vocabulary with Rosetta Stone

Now that you recognize the usefulness of suffixes, you may higher perceive and categorical your self appropriately in Spanish! You little question acknowledged lots of the patterns, and have unlocked quite a lot of new usages of vocabulary you already know.  

If you wish to save your self the ache of memorization, strive increasing your Spanish vocabulary with Rosetta Stone. 

Rosetta Stone helps college students faucet into their innate means to study language. Visible and conceptual clues make it easier to interpret the which means of latest suffixes, phrases, phrases, and sentences, and TruAccent will make it easier to nail the pronunciation. Being attentive to suffixes in Rosetta Stone’s Tales, that are completely leveled for every learner, also can offer you an enormous confidence increase!  

Written by Jamie Edwards

Jamie is a learner and trainer of Spanish and French. When she’s not studying new phrases, you’ll discover her on the soccer sidelines, ski slopes, and observe and subject bleachers having fun with the 4 seasons of Western New York.

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