Suffixes ESL Activities, Games and Worksheets

Verb to Noun Connect 4

ESL Suffixes Game - Reading, Spelling, Listening and Speaking Activity - Intermediate (A2-B1) - 25 minutes

In this suffixes activity, students play games of Connect 4 where they change verbs into nouns using specific suffixes. Divide the students into groups of three. Two students play the first game and one student judges the players' answers. Give the two players a copy of game board 1 and the student acting as judge a copy of the game 1 answers. The aim of the game is to get four squares in a row, either vertically, horizontally or diagonally, while at the same time trying to stop the other player from getting four in a row. The players win squares by changing verbs into nouns using certain suffixes and spelling the nouns correctly. Write the suffixes for game 1 on the board: -ation, -tion, -sion, -ment. The first player looks at the verb in the square and decides which suffix can be used to create a noun (i.e. ation, -tion, -sion, -ment). The student then says the noun and spells it. The student acting as judge listens and checks the noun and spelling on their answer sheet. If the noun and spelling are correct, the player writes their name in the square. It's then the other player's turn to choose a square and make a noun. If the player says the wrong noun or spells the noun incorrectly, play passes to the other student. The first player to get four in a row wins the game. If no one manages to do this, the player with the most squares wins. When a group has finished, give them a copy of game 2 and the students swap roles, giving another student the chance to act as judge. Then, write the suffixes for game 2 on the board: -ance, -ence, -al. At the end of game 2, the students swap roles again and play game 3 with suffixes: -ure, -ing, -age.
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Adjective Suffixes

ESL Adjective Suffixes Worksheet - Reading and Writing Activity - Intermediate (B1) - 30 minutes

In this printable adjective suffixes worksheet, students identify and practice using the adjective suffixes: -able, -al, -ful, -ish, -ous, and -y. Give each student a copy of the two-page worksheet. Students start by underlining suffixes in adjectives. Students then put each word from a box with a suitable suffix to make an adjective. Next, students do a gap-fill exercise were they complete sentences in a film summary with the adjectives. In the last exercise, students write what they think happens next in the film summary story using at least three adjectives from the worksheet. When the students have finished, check their answers.
Adjective Suffixes Worksheet Preview

Interactive Version - In this adjective suffixes interactive worksheet, students work through a variety of exercises to learn the adjective suffixes: -al, -ful, -ish, -able, -ous, and -y.


Suffix Blockbusters

ESL Suffixes Game - Listening and Speaking Activity - Intermediate (B1) - 20 minutes

In this fun suffixes game, students guess words that contain certain suffixes from given clues. Draw a five-by-five hexagon grid on the board and write suffixes into the 25 hexagons. Divide the students into two teams and allocate a colour to each team, e.g. red and blue. The two teams then decide which direction they want to play - top to bottom or left to right. The aim of the game is to connect the hexagons from one side of the grid to the other. This is a fairly strategic game and the students need to choose their moves carefully in order to win the game, blocking the other team when necessary. The game starts with the center hexagon. Give the clue for the suffix in the hexagon (-sect), i.e., to cut. The two teams then race to say a related word with that suffix, e.g. dissect. The first team to give a suitable word wins the hexagon and it is coloured accordingly. The winning team then chooses the next hexagon. Give the clue for the suffix in that hexagon and both teams race to answer as before. The first team to connect their hexagons from top to bottom or left to right wins the game. This game can also be played in groups of five with two teams of two and one quizmaster who reads the clues.
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Suffix Dominoes

ESL Abstract Nouns and Suffixes Game - Listening, Speaking and Writing Activity - Intermediate (B1) - 30 minutes

In this free suffixes activity, students match suffixes to words to make abstract nouns and then use the nouns to make sentences. Give each group of three a set of dominoes. The students shuffle the dominoes and deal out five each, leaving the rest in a pile face down. The top domino from the pile is then placed face up on the table. The first player puts down one of their dominoes, making sure that the suffix or word on their domino matches with the word or suffix on either side of the domino on the table to make an abstract noun. If the player forms an abstract noun successfully, they score a point. For an extra point, the player then uses the noun in a sentence. The other players then take it in turns to match their dominoes in the same way by putting them down at either end of the domino chain and making a suitable sentence when an abstract noun is formed. If a player cannot put down one of their dominoes, they take one from the top of the pile and put it down if they can. If there are no dominoes left in the pile, play passes to the next student. When a player has gotten rid of all their dominoes, the game ends. The students then add up their scores. The player with the most points wins the game. Afterwards, the students can shuffle the dominoes and play again. When the students have finished, they categorize the abstract nouns into their different types, e.g. feelings, states, concepts, etc. Finally, check the answers and elicit other abstract nouns for each category.
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Suffix Question Time

ESL Suffixes Activity - Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking - Intermediate (B1) - 30 minutes

In this insightful suffix activity, students complete questions that contain abstract nouns using suffixes and then ask, answer and discuss the questions with a partner. Divide the students into pairs (A and B) and give each student a corresponding worksheet. The students then take it in turns to read out the questions on the worksheet to their partner, who listens and completes the word stem with the correct suffix: -hood, -dom, -ship, -ness or -tion. If their partner completes the question with the correct suffix, they score a point. The student with the most points at the end wins. Students then move on to ask, answer and discuss the questions with their partner. When the students have finished, there is a class feedback session to go through their answers to the questions. Any interesting findings can then be discussed in more detail.
Suffix Question Time Preview

Interactive Version - In this suffixes breakout room activity, students complete questions with suffixes and then ask and answer the questions with a classmate.


Saving the Environment

ESL Suffixes Worksheet - Reading, Writing and Speaking Activity - Upper-intermediate (B2) - 35 minutes

This environmentally themed worksheet helps students practice the eight suffixes: -ship, -ity, -al, -ical, -age, -ible, -tion, and -wide. Give each student a copy of the two-page worksheet. Students will also need a dictionary. Students begin by reading a text about environmental causes. In pairs, the students then discuss whether they agree with the writer's opinion and what they can do to help the environment. Next, students find ten root words in the text and complete a table with the associated suffix, a definition of the word and an example sentence. After that, students write the words from the table. Then, they look up the words in dictionaries and underline the stressed syllable. Students then move on to find three more words for each suffix and check their answers in a dictionary. In the last exercise, students complete sentences with the correct forms of the words in brackets to practice the suffixes.
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