Noun and Adjective Suffixes

A suffix is a group of letters attached to the end of a word to form a new word. In English, common suffixes are “-ly,” used to change an adjective into an adverb (“happy” becomes “happily”), or “-ed,” used to express the ast tense of a verb (“like” becomes “liked”). In Italian, suffixes are commonly used at the ends of nouns and adjectives. There is no set of rules that tells you which suffixes can be used. The best way to learn them is to listen for them when native speakers are talking to.

<tgroup cols="5"> <colspec colname="col1" colnum="1" colwidth="20%" colsep="0" rowsep="0" align="center"/> <colspec colname="col2" colnum="2" colwidth="20%" colsep="0" rowsep="0" align="center"/> <colspec colname="col3" colnum="3" colwidth="20%" colsep="0" rowsep="0" align="center"/> <colspec colname="col4" colnum="4" colwidth="20%" colsep="0" rowsep="0" align="center"/> <colspec colname="col5" colnum="5" colwidth="20%" colsep="0" rowsep="0" align="center"/> <thead> <tr> <td><p>Italian Noun</p></td> <td><p>English Noun</p></td> <td><p>Suffix</p></td> <td><p>New Word</p></td> <td><p>New Meaning</p></td> </tr> </thead> <tbody> <tr> <td><p>casa</p></td> <td><p>house</p></td> <td><p>-etta</p></td> <td><p>casetta</p></td> <td><p>little house</p></td> </tr> <tr> <td><p>naso</p></td> <td><p>nose</p></td> <td><p>-one</p></td> <td><p>nasone</p></td> <td><p>big nose</p></td> </tr> <tr> <td><p>sorella</p></td> <td><p>sister</p></td> <td><p>-ina</p></td> <td><p>sorellina</p></td> <td><p>little sister</p></td> </tr> <tr> <td><p>tempo</p></td> <td><p>weather</p></td> <td><p>-accio</p></td> <td><p>tempaccio</p></td> <td><p>bad weather</p></td> </tr> <tr> <td><p>parola</p></td> <td><p>word</p></td> <td><p>-accia</p></td> <td><p>parolaccia</p></td> <td><p>bad word</p></td> </tr> <tr> <td><p>ragazzo</p></td> <td><p>boy</p></td> <td><p>-ino</p></td> <td><p>ragazzino</p></td> <td><p>little boy</p></td> </tr> <tr> <td><p>cavallo</p></td> <td><p>horse</p></td> <td><p>-uccio</p></td> <td><p>cavalluccio</p></td> <td><p>toy horse</p></td> </tr> </tbody> </tgroup> </table> <h2>Exercise 19: Guess the Meaning</h2> <p>Circle the correct meaning of the noun.</p> <table frame="all" width="100%"> <title/> <tgroup cols="2"> <colspec colname="col1" colnum="1" colwidth="50%" colsep="0" rowsep="0" align="center"/> <colspec colname="col2" colnum="2" colwidth="50%" colsep="0" rowsep="0" align="center"/> <tbody> <tr> <td><p>1. <emphasis>cavallino</emphasis></p></td> <td><p>(young horse/big horse)</p></td> </tr> <tr> <td><p>2. <emphasis>pezzetto</emphasis></p></td> <td><p>(big piece/small piece)</p></td> </tr> <tr> <td><p>3. <emphasis>doloretto</emphasis></p></td> <td><p>(big pain/small pain)</p></td> </tr> <tr> <td><p>4. <emphasis>vestituccio</emphasis></p></td> <td><p>(humble, cheap dress/elegant dress)</p></td> </tr> <tr> <td><p>5. <emphasis>chiesetta</emphasis></p></td> <td><p>(cathedral/small church)</p></td> </tr> </tbody> </tgroup> </table> <!--/gc--> <div id="pagination"><ul><li class="prev"><a href="http://www.netplaces.com/italian-practice/reflexive-and-reciprocal-verbs-possessives-and-the-present-progressive/possessive-pronouns.htm" title="Possessive Pronouns">Possessive Pronouns</a></li><li class="next"><a href="http://www.netplaces.com/italian-practice/reflexive-and-reciprocal-verbs-possessives-and-the-present-progressive/the-present-progressive.htm" title="The Present Progressive">The Present Progressive</a> </li></ul></div></div> <div id="coda"> <div 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