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Practice English Speaking&Listening with: Vocabulary: 7 English words that can be suffixes

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Welcome to

I'm Adam.

Today's lesson is going to be a bit of a mix of grammar, and vocab, and writing - all of

the skills you need together because we're going to be looking at suffixes; and more

specifically, we're going to be looking at seven words that can also be used as a suffix.

Now, first of all, what is a "suffix"?

A "suffix" is a piece of something that you add to the end of a word.

It's a word ending.


Now, most of you might be familiar, for example, with if I add "ly" to the end of an adjective,

I can change it into an adverb; or if I add "ment" to the end of a word, I make it a noun.

Now, these suffixes change words in terms of parts of speech.

I change a verb to a noun or a noun to a verb, etc.

What these do... what these specific suffixes do is they change the meaning of a word completely.

Now, the reason it's important to know these and the reason I mentioned writing is because

these are not used enough by writers; especially those of you taking tests, like IELTS, TOEFL,

CAE, etc. - you need to have your vocabulary range.


That's one of the things they're scoring you on.

You want to have nice words, but nice words don't have to be big words; they just have

to be words that are not commonly used.

And a lot of people do not use words that include these suffixes, and they're very useful



So we're going to look at some of them.

So, when I add "hood" to the end of a word, for example... now, the word "hood" by itself,

if you have a hoodie, if you have a sweatshirt with a hood that goes over your head; or if

you think about in your kitchen you have a... you have your stove, and above it you have

a hood with a fan to take all the steam and oil, or whatever you're cooking - the smells.

Your car, the front of your car, over your engine has a hood.

So, think of a "hood" as covering everything.

But as a suffix, it's basically the state, condition, or quality of something.

So, now, for example, when I speak of "childhood", I'm talking about the whole time of being

a child and everything that is included in that.

So, "childhood" includes going to school and having friends, and playing outside, and having

toys, and having... playing video games, and innocence.

All of the ideas we think of: "What is a child?" are included in the childhood; so it's a period

of time where you're a child.

The opposite: "adulthood" - the time of being an adult; of having a job, and having a family,

and responsibilities.


A "neighbourhood" is the area where all the people are neighbours; where all the neighbours

live together and share a small community.



"Likely" means probably will happen.

The "likelihood" means the chance of something being likely; the chance of it being... or

the condition of it being likely.

So, the likelihood of this guy winning the presidency is very low.

But turns out that the likelihood was not as low as everybody expected, for example.


Now, the reason I mentioned these: I've seen so many IELTS and TOEFL essays that do not

use this word that should use this word.


People say: "Oh, the time that a person is a child... the time a person is a child",


You have seven words when you could have said all of that with one word.

If you can use one word, don't use seven words.


So now we're talking about coherence and cohesion, which includes brevity.

These suffixes give you a lot of range in terms of vocabulary.

Learn how to use them properly.

Lots of words like this.

If you Google: "Words that end in 'hood'", you'll see a whole bunch of them.



So, "like" has many meanings, but the one we're going to look at is similar to; so something

is like something else.

But I don't have to separate it into a whole sentence; I can use this as a suffix.

I can talk about things, attitudes, behaviours, but you have to be a little bit careful.


Now, if somebody is "childlike" means he is like a child.

But what does that mean?

It doesn't mean that he's small or whatever; it means he behaves like a child or he thinks

like a child.

So, we're not talking about physical; we're talking about mental or even personality-wise.

And we're going to talk about "wise" in a second.


So, in my company, I don't allow jeans.

Everybody has to dress in a businesslike manner; everybody has to come with a businesslike

attitude - they have to be like a business.

They have to act or their attitude has to be business; not casual.


I want everybody to be very businesslike when they meet clients.

Don't pretend like they're your best friends; be businesslike, get the job done, move on.

Now, if you want to compare physical things, right?

So, everybody knows what a sweet potato is - okay, or a yam.


Do you know a yam?

A "yam" is a potato-like vegetable.

So, it's similar to a potato, but it's not a potato.

It's different, but very similar; starchy, you can bake it, you can eat it with sour


Very delicious.


So, all of these things - again, Google: "Words that end in 'like'", you'll have a whole list

of these.

Good to know.

And again, you don't want to say something in five words that you could say in one.



So, everybody knows "wise": "Oh, smart person".

Yeah, well, that's an adjective and we can use that in a different way than we can use

the suffix.

As a suffix, it means in the direction of or regarding, in regards to.

So, when I want to turn "clockwise", I want to turn this direction; "counterclockwise"

- against.

So, in the clockwise, in the direction of a clock; counterclockwise, the opposite direction.

I'm not sure if this translate.

Clockwise; counterclockwise.



So, you have to cut the fabric lengthwise; not widthwise.

So, if you have a piece of fabric and you need to cut it, but you're not sure which

way: Lengthwise - along the length.

Now, if somebody is "street-wise", this doesn't mean the direction of or regarding; this means


And this hyphen tells you that this is now a compound adjective.

This actually means smart, like wise; has wisdom.

If somebody is streetwise, he is smart; he knows how the streets work, and he knows how

to get along on the street.

So, don't mix the two; two different meanings.


So, "streetwise", "clockwise", "lengthwise".


Now, "some"... if I have some friends, but that's not the "some" that we're talking about

here as a suffix; it means characterized by.

Sorry, it's got a little... i must have walked into that.

Characterized by or of - there's a little bit of a difference.

When we talk about "wholesome", so when we speak about a person who is wholesome, this

person is characterized as being whole, which doesn't really help you.

A "wholesome person" means very good, very generous, likes to help other people, doesn't

swear, doesn't say bad words; very pure, very clean, very good person.

"Wholesome", complete person.


But when I say "twosome"...

"They're a very handsome twosome".

"Handsome", of course, means pretty, but like pretty but for a guy we would say.

"Handsome", the "some" doesn't really go with "hand"; it's just a word that goes together.

It's not a suffix necessarily.

A "twosome" means of two.

A "threesome", a "foursome", a "fivesome" means a collection of whatever the number


Now, "awesome".

Everybody loves this word.

This word is "awesome", but actually it's not because "awe" doesn't mean amazing or


"Awe" means, like, shocked, surprise, sometimes fear.

Like, if you're awed by something, you're a little bit in fear of it; you're shocked

by it.

So, something is characterized by the awe that it inspires in people.

So, even though people use it wrong all the time - go ahead and use it, like: "amazing",

"great", but just understand that it's characterized by awe, and understand what "awe" means.


I got three more for you - let's get to those.

Okay, so now we have three more.

Some of these I think are very common.

For example: "able".

"Able" means able to do or able to be done.

So, when we're talking about something that is "preventable" means that this thing could

have been prevented or can be prevented, depending on the context.

Now, the reason it's important to know this one - again, if you can say something in one

word, don't use three.

So, this was the...

"The dilemma or the problem was not able to be prevented."

First of all, why use a passive?

And second of all, why use so many words?

"The problem was unpreventable."

Put the "un" in front to make it negative, "preventable" - couldn't be-okay?-prevented.


If a person is very excitable, it's very easy to get him excited, to get him all stressed

out and going crazy a little bit.


That's what "excitable" means.

"Acceptable" means able to be accepted.

You bring your work to your boss, and you say: "How is this?" and he goes: "It's acceptable"

it means: "I can accept it; it's not great, but I can accept it because it's good enough."


So this one is actually pretty common.


Now, this one, I don't know why people don't use this enough.

"Phobia" by itself is also a noun; it means a fear.

So, many people have phobias - all kinds of phobias that are not really rational; they

don't make any sense.

You shouldn't have them, but people do.


As a suffix, you can just add it to the thing that you're afraid of.

So, "dread" means very, very strong fear or just fear of.

"Claustrophobia", you have a fear of closed spaces.

For example, if you're in an elevator and you're going up - no problem.

If that elevator gets stuck, suddenly this small space starts getting smaller and smaller,

and smaller and smaller, and you have a major phobia-a major fear-that it's going to squeeze



"Xeno" is basically foreigner or a stranger.


Something strange or foreign.

"Xenophobia" - fear of strangers, so fear of the other.

So, a lot of people... this is basically another... i don't want to say it's a more polite way;

it's just another way to say "racism" in some cases.

People are racist; they're just afraid of the other; somebody who's not like them.

"Arachnophobia" - fear of spiders.

"Agoraphobia" - a fear of big, open spaces.

All kinds of different phobias; again, you can search those online.


Now, "ware" is a very general term for things that are alike or things that are produced,

especially manufactured things that are then sold.

So, for example: "kitchenware".

"Kitchenware" is anything that is used in the kitchen, like forks, and knives, and spoons,

and spatulas.

Things that you buy for your kitchen - all of them fall into the category of kitchenware,

"houseware", etc.

"Hardware" - anything that is hard, so tools, basically.

It could be a computer, it could be a hammer, could be a machine that does something.

"Software", because it's technically soft; you can't actually hit anybody with it, so

"software" - anything that is produced as a program.

"Spyware", etc.

Now, be careful: A "warehouse" comes from the same idea as "ware".

It's a house for wares, right?

So, a company produces all these things, and before they send them to the stores, they

keep them in a warehouse.

So, they keep all their wares housed in a big building to be used.

Now, again, when you're writing your essays for whatever exam you're taking, whatever

English test - use words with suffixes.

There are lots of suffixes; use these, use the others.

But, again, give yourself range.

And you don't need big words.


Like, obviously, "hardware", "software" - these are everyday words.

You want to avoid using them too much.

But instead of saying: "Buying things for your kitchen" - "Buying kitchenware".

That will get you the extra points, because A: You're able to squeeze more ideas in the

same number of words because you're using less words here; you can use those words elsewhere.

Plus, this is not an everyday word, and especially for non-native English speakers.


Learn how to use these.

Learn how to say: "Xenophobia" instead of: "Fear of the other".

"Fear of the other" - four words; one word.


Extra points if you're using them correctly.

Now, if you have any questions about these, please go to and ask me in

the forum section there.

There's a quiz that you can practice your understanding of these words.

And, of course, if you like this video, press "like" at YouTube and subscribe to my channel,

and come back for more great videos to help you improve your English.

See you then.


The Description of Vocabulary: 7 English words that can be suffixes