What are suffixes in Spanish? You might be wondering… Well, they are grammatical elements that are added to the end of the lexical root of a word to form a derivative. Thanks to suffixes we can create word families, for example, from an adjective to a noun (feliz – felicidad), from a verb to a noun (crear – creación).
Suffixes also help us to express feelings and emotions of all kinds, for example: ¡Qué bonico!
They usually come from Latin and Greek.
There are different types of suffixes in Spanish, as many as there are cities, as their use has a marked geographical tendency. Learn today the types of appreciative suffixes with iScribo.
Augmentative Suffixes in Spanish
They are part of the appreciative suffixes and are used to indicate greater size:
1. -ón/a: cabezona, moratón (big head, big bruise)
2. -ote/a: gordote, altota (very fat, very tall)
3. -azo/a: ojazos, montonazo, tenaza (big eyes, many things, big tongs)
4. -arrón/a: nubarrón, mozarrona (storm cloud, big woman -colloquial-)
5. -ullón/a: grandullón, grandullona (big man, big woman)
Diminutive Suffixes in Spanish
They indicate a smaller size or less affection:
6. -ajo: pequeñajo, boscajo (little one, grove)
7. -ecito/a: pececito, florecita (little fish, little flower)
8. -illo/a: tonelillo, mariposilla (little cask, little butterfly)
9. -ico/a: bonico, casica (handsome, cosy house)
10. -zuelo/a: cazuela, pozuelo (casserole, bowl)
Derogatory Suffixes in Spanish
They add negative or contemptuous connotations:
11. -acho: poblacho, hilacho (ugly village, loose thread)
12. -ato/a: niñata, cegato (rude girl, sightless)
13. ucho/a: delgaducho, casucha (scrag, unwelcoming house)
14. uzo/a: gentuza, merluzo (bad people, silly person)
15. -aco/a: pajarraco, berraca (big ugly bird, upset person)
Other Types of Suffixes in Spanish
We have the inflectional suffixes, which indicate grammatical inflections:
16. -o/a: maestro, maestra (indicates gender – ‘teacher’)
17. -ndo: cantar and cantando, coser and cosiendo (indicates gerund mood from the infinitive form – ‘sing’ and ‘singing’, ‘sew’ and ‘sewing’)
There are also derivational suffixes, which we can use to form word families:
18. -ísimo/a: rápido and rapidísimo, contenta and contentísima (adjectives that come from other adjectives – ‘fast’ and ‘very fast’, ‘happy’ and ‘very happy’)
19. -ente: dormir and durmiente, vivir and viviente (adjectives that come from verbs – ‘sleep’ and ‘sleepy’, ‘live’ and ‘living’)
20. -ría: tonto and tontería (nouns that come from adjectives – ‘silly’ and ‘nonsense’)
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Suffixes follow the rules of coherence. Bear in mind that a person from Extremadura will say ¡qué pequeñino! (how little!) and a person from Andalusia will say ¡qué pequeñito!
Both people are expressing the same thing but with the most frequent suffixes of their land. Imagine if we include the rest of the Spanish-speaking countries.
Don’t be discouraged by the formation of suffixes, yes, we know there are a lot of them, but they are also the most flexible grammatical part of Spanish. Remember that diversity is richness.
You can practice the suffixes with iScribo’s orthographic and grammar checker to learn new possibilities and correct the ones you are using incorrectly. Check it out with our artificial intelligence-based tool.