Spanish suffixes

Did you know there are over 275 suffixes in the Spanish language? Imagine if you would know just a couple and how this would enhance your Spanish vocabulary? Let’s review what a suffix actually is and also the most common suffixes of the Spanish language. At the end of this article you will find a list of all suffixes in the Spanish language.

What is a suffix?

Suffixes are modifications of the word stem with spelling changes, or endings, which change the meaning in Spanish.

There are many different types of suffixes that we’ll explore today. Let’s start with an overview of what a suffix is. Suffixes are common words that typically attach to a root and modify the root’s meaning in some way; more specifically, a suffix is an addition to some form of spoken or written language whereby the associated languages roots are modified in order to form more complex words.

Some common suffixes in English include -able/-ible, -ness, -ful, and -ish. The same exists in the Spanish language, changing the meaning of words. Let take a look at some commonly used suffixes in Spanish:

Most common suffixes in Spanish:

ito/ ita – denote a diminutive form

for example: perrito (little dog), regalito (little present)

ero / era – forms occupations from nouns & forms places where a noun general resides or functions the noun.

for example: azucarero (suger jar), salero (salt shaker), sombrero (hat, shade provider)

ía – create the name of a location, usually a store. Or to suggest something is realted to.

for example: panadería (bread store, bakery), zapatería (shoe store), ferretería (hardware store)

ista – to create occupations

for example: dentista (dentist), lingüista (lenguist), pensionista (pensioner), porrista (cheerleader). See a full list of all Spanish words ending in ISTA here.

dor – dora – used to create instruments, household appliances, names of places, occupations and jobs.

for example: aspiradora (vacuum cleaner), comedor (dining room), conductor (driver), parador (hostel), perdedor (loser)

mente – used in the same way -ly words are used in English.

for example: pacientemente (patiently), prácticamente (practically). See a full list of all words that end in -mente in Spanish.

List of all suffixes in Spanish

In total there are just over 275 suffixes in Spanish. Find a full list underneath:

All Spanish suffixes

Spanish suffixTo say…
-a-ess. (Used to form feminine singular nouns.)
-a-s. (Used to form the third-person singular (also used with usted) present indicative mood of regular -ar verbs.)
-a(Used to form the feminine singular adjectives.)
-a(Used to form the first and third-person singular (also used with usted) singular subjunctive mood of -er and -ir verbs, also used for the imperative mood of usted.)
-a(Used to form the second-person singular imperative mood of -ar verbs.)
-abaSuffix indicating the first-person singular imperfect indicative of -ar verbs
-abaSuffix indicating the third-person singular imperfect indicative of -ar verbs
-abaisSuffix indicating the second-person plural imperfect indicative of -ar verbs
-abanSuffix indicating the third-person plural imperfect indicative of -ar verbs
-abasSuffix indicating the second-person singular imperfect indicative of -ar verbs
-able
-aciónalternative form of -ción
-adaUsed to form words, derived from nouns, corresponding to -ful (as much as something will hold)
-adaUsed to form words, derived from nouns, indicating a blow with the named object
-adaUsed to form words, derived from nouns, signifying a whole
-adaUsed to form words indicating abundance or excess
-adaUsed to form words indicating action
-adaUsed to form words indicating a period of time
-adaUsed with a stem to form the feminine singular past participle of regular -are verbs; feminine form of -ado
-adoSuffix indicating the past participle of regular -ar verbs
-adorForm of -dor attached to -ar verb stems. Forms (usually agent) nouns and adjectives
-adorafeminine form of -ador
-aduraForm of -dura used with -ar verbs to form nouns
-ajeForms masculine nouns expressing an action, quantity, location, period of time, etc
-alIn adjectives, indicating relation
-alIn nouns, indicating a place where something is grown
-algia-algy
-amentoalternative form of -mento
-amientoalternative form of -miento
-amossuffix indicating the first-person plural present indicative of -ar verbs
-amosSuffix indicating the first-person plural preterite of -ar verbs
-amosSuffix indicating the first-person singular imperative of -er and -ir verbs
-amosSuffix indicating the first-person singular present subjunctive of -er and -ir verbs
-anSuffix indicating the third-person plural imperative of -er and -ir verbs
-anSuffix indicating the third-person plural present indicative of -ar verbs
-anSuffix indicating the third-person plural present subjunctive of -er and -ir verbs
-ancia-ancy
-andoSuffix indicating the gerund of regular -ar verbs
-anoComing from, related to, or like
-anoOne from, belonging to, relating to, or like
-ano-ane (in the names of hydrocarbons)
-anteForms adjectives from verbs
-aréSuffix indicating the third-person singular future indicative of -ar verbs
-arIn adjectives, indicating membership or status
-arIn nouns, indicating a place where something is grown
-arThe infinitive suffix for many verbs
-aranDenotes the imperfect subjunctive in the (formal) second-person plural for regular verbs ending in -ar
-aranDenotes the imperfect subjunctive in the third-person plural for regular verbs ending in -ar
-areisSuffix indicating the second-person plural future indicative of -ar verbs
-ario-ary
-aronDenotes the indicative preterite in the (formal) second-person plural for regular verbs ending in -ar
-aronDenotes the indicative preterite in the third-person plural for regular verbs ending in -ar
-assuffix indicating the second-person singular present indicative of -ar
-assuffix indicative the second-person singular present subjunctive of -er verbs and -ir verbs
-astroUsed to form nouns with a pejorative or lower meaning
-atafeminine form of -ato
-atodesignates a salt or ester related to an acid
-atoDenotes the office of a noun stem
-atoForms adjectives of quality
-atoforms an institution from a noun stem
-atoforms the corresponding action of a noun
-atoindicates a baby of a specific animal
-avoadded to a cardinal number to signify one portion of a whole divided into that number of pieces. Creates both nouns and adjectives
-azafeminine form of -azo
-azgoForms the effect or condition of the base word
-azgoForms the office of the base word
-azoForming augmentatives; words expressing greatness or size
-azoForming pejoratives; words emphasizing contempt for a subject
-azoForming words expressing a hit or strike
-azoForming words expressing suddenness or brevity
-ábamosindicates the imperfect tense first-person plural form of an -ar verb
-áceafeminine form of -áceo
-áceo-aceous
-áisSuffix indicating the second-person plural present indicative of -ar verbs
-áisSuffix indicating the second-person plural present subjunctive of -er and -ir verbs
-bilidadForm of -dad used generally for adjectives ending in -ble; Comparable generally to English suffix -ity
-cetafeminine form of -cete, which in turn is a form of -ete
-ceteForm of -ete
-cida-cidal
-cida-cide (denoting a person or substance that kills)
-cidio-cide (denoting an act of killing)
-cillafeminine form of -cillo
-cilloForm of -illo attached to some nouns
-ciónUsed in forming a noun to represent the property corresponding to a verb; -tion
-citafeminine form of -cito Substituted for “a” at the end of feminine words and names ending in a vowel to denote a diminutive form
-cito-cyte (used to form cell names)
-citoForm of -ito. Substituted for "o" at the end of masculine words and names to denote a diminutive form
-colacultivator, breeder (forming nouns and adjectives)
-colainhabitant (forming nouns and adjectives)
-cracia-cracy
-crata-crat
-dadUsed in forming a noun to represent the property corresponding to an adjective; -ity
-deroone or something that does, uses, or makes. e.g. pescadero, crujidero, saladero, aserradero, embarcadero
-dorForming derivatives of other nouns:
-dorForming (usually agent) nouns and adjectives from verbs. The form used depends on the suffix of verb being appended: for -ar verbs use -ador (-adora), for -er verbs -edor (-edora) and for -ir verbs -idor (-idora)
-dorafeminine form of -dor
-duraForms nouns from verbs. The form used depends on the suffix of verb being appended: for -ar verbs use -adura, for -er verbs -edura, and for -ir verbs -idura
-eñafeminine form of -eño
-earforms verbs from adjectives and nouns
-ececillafeminine form of -ececillo
-ececilloForm of -illo attached to some nouns
-ececitafeminine form of -ececito
-ececitoForm of -ito. Substituted for "o" at the end of masculine words and names ending in a vowel to denote a diminutive form
-ecer-esce
-ecillafeminine form of -ecillo
-ecilloForm of -illo attached to some nouns
-ecitafeminine form of -ecito
-ecitoForm of -ito. Substituted for "o" at the end of masculine words and names ending in a vowel to denote a diminutive form
-edadForm of -dad used generally for adjectives ending in -io or for two syllable adjectives; Comparable generally to the English suffix -ity
-edorForm of -dor attached to -er verb stems. Forms (usually agent) nouns and adjectives
-edorafeminine form of -edor
-eduraForm of -dura used with -er verbs to form nouns
-ejoForming diminutives; applies a detestable or vile quality to the root
-emossuffix indicating the first-person plural present indicative of -er verbs
-emosSuffix indicating the first-person singular imperative of -ar verbs
-emosSuffix indicating the first-person singular present subjunctive of -ar verbs
-enSuffix indicating the third-person plural imperative of -ar verbs
-enSuffix indicating the third-person plural present indicative of -er and -ir verbs
-enSuffix indicating the third-person plural present subjunctive of -ar verbs
-enoComing from, related to, or like
-enoOne from, belonging to, relating to, or like
-enseUsed to create adjectives and nouns that denote ethnonyms, like estadounidense, from Estados Unidos
-eñoComing from, related to, or like
-eñoOne from, belonging to, relating to, or like
-eréSuffix indicating the third-person singular future indicative of -er verbs
-erThe infinitive suffix for many verbs
-erafeminine form of -ero
-eríaCharacteristic of; -ery
-eríaTurns a noun into a store that sells such an item; -ery
-eréisSuffix indicating the second-person plural future indicative of -er verbs
-eroforms occupations from nouns
-eroforms places where a noun general resides
-esSuffix indicating the plural of nouns and adjectives ending in certain consonants (most often -l, -r, -n, -d, -z, -j, -s, -x, -ch, with some exceptions)
-esSuffix indicating the second-person singular present indicative of -er and -ir verbs
-esSuffix indicating the second-person singular present subjunctive of -ar verbs
-escaFeminine form of -esco which is a variant of -sco
-escoForm of -sco
-etafeminine form of -ete
-eteAdded to nouns and adjectives that often adds a diminutive sense to the base
-ezsuffix forming many Spanish surnames: Cortez, Enríquez, Godínez, Gómez, Gutiérrez, Hernández, Ibáñez, López, Ordóñez, Pérez, Ramírez, Rodríguez, Sánchez
-ezSuffix forming nouns of feminine gender from nouns and adjectives, denoting "state of" (similar to English -hood, -ness, -ty)
-ezaAttached to adjectives to form abstract nouns of that quality
-eznafeminine form of -ezno
-eznoAdded to animal nouns to form other nouns, often diminutive and indicating young
-éisSuffix indicating the second-person plural present indicative of -er and -ir verbs
-éisSuffix indicating the second-person plural present subjunctive of -ar verbs
-ésForms nouns and adjectives of nationality:
-fagafeminine form of -fago
-fagia-phagy
-fago-phage
-fago-phagous
-filafeminine form of -filo
-filo-phile
-fito-phyte
-fobia-phobia
-fono-phone
-forme-shaped, -form, -like
-geno-gen
-geno-genic
-grafía-graphy
-grafo-graph
-grafo-grapher
-grama-gram
1st person preterite verb form for -er verbs
Suffix indicating certain demonyms, especially from Arabic and Indo-Iranian countries and regions, like iraní, iraquí, azerí, marroquí, penyabí, and others
-íaSuffix indicating the first-person singular imperfect indicative of -er and -ir verbs
-íaSuffix indicating the third-person singular imperfect indicative of -er and -ir verbs
-íaisSuffix indicating the second-person plural imperfect indicative of -er and -ir verbs
-íamosSuffix indicating the first-person plural imperfect indicative of -er and -ir verbs
-íanSuffix indicating the third-person plural imperfect indicative of -er and -ir verbs
-íasSuffix indicating the second-person singular imperfect indicative of -er and -ir verbs
-ióSuffix indicating the third-person singular indicative preterite of -er and -ir verbs
-iano-ian (all instances)
-iatría-iatrics
-iatría-iatry
-ible
-ico-ic; added to nouns to form adjectives
-icousually derogative diminutive suffix; added to nouns to form nouns
-idadForm of -dad used generally for adjectives of three or more syllables; Comparable to English suffix -ity
-idoSuffix indicating the past participle of regular -ir and -er verbs
-idorForm of -dor attached to -ir verb stems. Forms (usually agent) nouns and adjectives
-idorafeminine form of -idor
-iduraForm of -dura used with -ir verbs to form nouns
-iendoSuffix indicating the gerund of regular -er and -ir verbs
-ieronSuffix indicating the third-person plural indicative preterite of -er and -ir verbs
-ificar-ify, -fy, suffix to form verbs with the meaning of to turn into, to transform into
-il-ile (indicating relation or pertaining to)
-illaAdded to feminine nouns to denote a diminutive form
-illoAdded to masculine nouns to denote a diminutive form
-imientoalternative form of -miento
-imossuffix indicating the first-person plural present indicative of -ir verbs
-imosSuffix indicating the first-person plural preterite indicative of -er and -ir verbs
-io-ium
-iréSuffix indicating the third-person singular future indicative of -ir verbs
-irA verb ending for infinitives
-iréisSuffix indicating the second-person plural future indicative of -ir verbs
-ismo-ism
-istaIndicates one that practices a profession of the noun stem; Example: periódico periodista
-ista-ista; one who follows a principle. Example: optimista
-isteSuffix indicating the second-person singular indicative preterite of -er and -ir verbs
-isteisSuffix indicating the second-person plural indicative preterite of -er and -ir verbs
-ita-ite
-itaSubstituted for "a" at the end of feminine words and names to denote a diminutive form
-itoForms the name of an salt derived from an acid (similar to -ate in English)
-itoForms names of minerals
-itoSubstituted for “o” at the end of masculine words and names to denote a diminutive form
-itud-itude, state of, used to form a noun form an adjective
-ivo-ive
-izafeminine form of -izo
-izar-ise/-ize
-izoForms adjectives from other adjectives, nouns, and verbs usually denoting propensity or likeness
-ínA suffix to form the diminutives of nouns, often one already with a diminutive suffix
-ísimoAdded to adjectives to form the absolute superlative
-ísimoAdded to adverbs to form the superlative (e.g. lejísimo and tardísimo)
-lito-lith, -lite
-logía-logy, -ology
-logo-logist (one who studies)
-manafeminine form of -mano
-manía-mania
-mancia-mancy
-mano-mane, -maniac
-mente-wise, -ly, in a specified way; used to form adverbs from adjectives
-mentoforming concrete nouns from verbs, with the sense of ‘result, product (of process)’
-metría-metry
-metro-meter
-miento-ment, forming nouns from verbs with the sense of the action or process
-morfafeminine form of -morfo
-morfo-morph
-morfo-morphic, -morphous
A suffix indicating the third-person singular indicative preterite of a verb
-ónending of every chemical element belonging only to the noble gases group, except helium (in spanish helio)
-ónemphasizes contempt for subject
-ónemphasizes that something is large, grand, intense, important
-ónfor few cases, indicates that something is used wrong or frequently (forming adjectives and or nouns)
-ónforms a noun from a different (usually larger) but related or similar one
-ónfor very few cases, indicates small size of or a lack of something (such as an ironic augmentative)
-ónindicates that someone or something has large attributes, or larger than usual
-ónending of most or every subatomic particle
-ónsuffixed to verbs, doing something repeatedly or often
-ónimo-onym
-oSuffix indicating the first-person singular present indicative of verbs
-oide-oid
-oma-oma
-onafeminine form of -ón
-oso-ous, -y
-otafeminine form of -ote
-oteemphasizes contempt for subject
-oteemphasizes size
-patía-pathy
-plastia-plasty
-podo-pod
-sUsed to form the regular plural of nouns which end in vowels
-saurio-saurus
-scafeminine form of -sco
-scoForms adjectives that signify "relation" to the word stem
-scopia-scopy
-scopio-scope
-tecaused for any kind of collection
-tecaused for various Mexican or Central American ethnicities
-tecniaskill, technique
-terapiaUsed to form the names of therapies, many of which are two words in English
-tomafeminine form of -tomo
-tomía-tomy
-tomo-tome
-trofafeminine form of -trofo
-trofia-trophy
-trofo-troph, -trophic
-uchafeminine form of -ucho
-uchoUsed in forming pejoratives from nouns and adjectives
-udoA suffix appended to nouns to form adjectives (which can also be used as nouns), to indicate that someone or something has attributes such as existence, abundance or resemblance, and sometimes indicates habits or attitudes, similar to English suffixes -y, -ous, -ful:
-uelafeminine form of -uelo
-uelodiminutive suffix for nouns
-ueloemphasizes contempt for subject
-uraattaches to adjectives to form abstract nouns
-xiónSuffix indicating a process, action or effect, like "-ction" in English, used in a very scarce group of Spanish words, being these:
-yendo-ing
-zoo-zoan
List of all Spanish suffixes

Suffixes that are the similar in Spanish and English

Luckily there are a lot of suffixes that work the same in Spanish and in English. Which means you can grow your vocabulary instantly once you know that the following English suffixes can be adapted in the Spanish language in the following way:

English suffixSpanish suffix
-gen-geno
-cracy-cracia
-ess-a
-graph-grafo
-iano-iano
-iatrics-iatría
-ium-io
-logy-logía
-ment-miento
-ing-yendo
-graphy-grafía
-crat-crata
-cidal-cida
-phile-filo