Building your vocabulary with suffixes and adjectives

Two useful suffixes that we use with adjectives are -less and -able.

-less means “without …”

  1. Care + less = careless (“without care”) John breaks everything because he is careless. He should work more carefully.
  2. Time + less = timeless (“without time, everlasting”) This style will always be popular. This style is timeless.
  3. Point + less = pointless (“without a point, without a purpose”) That class is pointless. I learned all of it last month.
  4. Pain + less = painless (“without pain or discomfort) My dentist is the best. Even fillings are painless!

-able means “can/be able to…” We can spell it -ible as well, but the rules for the spelling are complex. If you are not sure, check a dictionary.

  1. Move + able = moveable (“someone can move it”) The box is not too heavy. It is moveable.
  2. Do + able = doable (“someone can do it, it is possible”) That plan is doable, as long as we have enough workers. (This is a very casual word.)
  3. Recycle + able = recyclable (“someone can recycle it.”) Did you hear that new technology has made all the parts of this computer recyclable?

There are many more suffixes, but these are two of the most common.


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