Teach Latin and Greek Suffixes
for Building Vocabulary

A basic knowledge of suffixes can increase vocabulary for students young and old. English words come from Latin and Greek roots. An understanding of just one common ending can have a significant effect on student performance in reading and writing.

If you teach one or two new word endings per month in a school year, your students will reap the rewards for a lifetime.

The Latin –fy:

Ever notice that words ending in –fy are verbs? That’s because -fy comes from a Latin verb meaning to make or to become.

To magnify is to make bigger. To reify is to make into a king. To fortify is to make stronger.

Not only are words ending in –fy always verbs, they are usually built on a Latin root word. See a list of words ending in -fy.

The Greek –logy:

The Greek word logos has many meanings, including reason, word, speech, and thought. In Ecclesiastical Greek, logos means the Word of God.

While it is the root of English words such eulogy, logical, and prologue, as a suffix logos helps create hundreds, even thousands, of English derivatives.

Nearly every branch of science and medicine uses -logy to indicate a particular field of study or expertise – Biology, geology, psychology, etc. See a list of common sciences explained etymologically.

This word ending is also used to name collections, writings, doctrines, and theories – A trilogy, for example, or cryptology.

More Latin Endings:

  • -able, -ible
  • -ity, -ty
  • -tude
  • -ile
  • -escent
  • -ine
  • -tor
  • -acious
  • -ous

    More Greek Endings:

  • -oid
  • -cracy
  • -phobia
  • -mania
  • -philic
  • -itis
  • -orama
  • -algia

    See More Latin Roots

    Return from Suffixes to Vocabulary Lesson Plans