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【练英语、学西班牙语】Spanish Suffixes(西班牙语后缀)

【练英语、学西班牙语】Spanish Suffixes(西班牙语后缀)


Spanish Suffixes

Many Are Cognates of Those We Use in English

By Gerald Erichsen

Spanish Language Expert

Do you want to increase your Spanish vocabulary?

One sure-fire way is to take the words you already know and learn how to apply suffixes to them.


Suffixes are simply word endings that can be used to modify a word's meaning.

We use them in English all the time, and nearly all of them that we use in English have a Spanish equivalent.

But Spanish has an even wider variety, and their usage isn't always as obvious as it would be in English.

Take a common word like manteca, for example.

That's the word for lard, a much-used cooking ingredient in Mexico and some other Spanish-speaking countries.

【西班牙语】manteca  f.  奶油, 猪油, 脂肪, 植物油脂, 肥胖(mantec+a

【意大利语】manteca  [mantèca]s.f.(1) 油脂, 油膏(2) [] 润发脂, 润发油


Add the ending -illa, a common ending, and it becomes mantequilla, or butter.

【西班牙语】mantequilla f.  黄油(mantequ+illa



Add the ending -ero, and it becomes mantequero, which can mean either a dairyman or a butter dish. (The spelling is changed from "c" to "qu" to maintain the pronunciation.)

【西班牙语】mantequero 1 adj. grocery mantequero (m) 2 n. grocer, one who owns and operates a grocery store (mantequ+ero)



dairy[5dZEri]n.牛奶场, 奶品场, 售牛奶, 奶油, 鸡蛋等的商店, 奶制品(dai+ry

中古英语 daie [挤奶女工]

5deili]adj.每日的, 日常的adv.每日, 日常地, 天天n.日报, <美口>朝来夜去的女佣(dai+ly)


Add the ending -ada, and it becomes mantecada, or buttered toast.

【西班牙语】mantecada (f)  n. shortbread, rich butter cookie; shortcake, cake made with shortening that is used in this dessertmantec+ada

Add -ado, and it becomes mantecado, or french ice cream.

Unfortunately, and the above words are an example, it isn't always possible to figure out what a word means simply by knowing the root word and the suffixes.

But the suffixes may give enough clues that in context you can make a more educated guess.

For example, the -ado and -ada endings are often the equivalent of the English "-ed."


So it isn't hard to see how mantecada could come to mean something buttered, just as in English "a malted" can refer to a milkshake with malt in it.


Spanish suffixes can roughly be classified as diminutives, augmentatives, pejoratives, English cognates, and miscellaneous ones.

And one, the adverbial suffix, is in a class of its own.

The Adverbial Suffix

Probably the most common Spanish suffix is -mente, which is usually added to the feminine singular form of adjectives to turn them into adverbs, just as we add "-ly" in English.

Thus simplemente is "simply," cariñosamente is "lovingly," rápidamente is "quickly," and so on.

【西班牙语】simplemente adv. plainly, merely, simplysimple+ment+e

【西班牙语】cariñosamente adv. kindly; lovingly, affectionately, caringly; dearly cariñosa+ment+e

【西班牙语】cariñoso adj. affectionate, loving, fond; kind, affable



These suffixes are extremely common and are used to make a word refer to something smaller, either literally or figuratively as in a form of endearment.

figuratively adv.比喻地, 象征性地(fig+ur(e)+ative+ly

figurative[5fi^jurEtiv]adj.比喻的, 修饰丰富的, 形容多的(fig+ur(e)+ative)

figure[5fi^E]n.外形, 轮廓, 体形, 图形, 画像, 数字, 形状, 身份vt.描绘, 塑造, 表示, 象征, 演算, 认为vi.出现, 考虑, 出名, 扮演角色(fig+ure)



Thus, un gato is a cat, but un gatito is a kitten.

【西班牙语】gato  m.  , , 钱包, 千斤顶, 小偷, 马德里男人, 狡猾的人(gat+o

【西班牙语】gatito (m) n. kitten, pussy, young catgat+it+o




In English we sometimes do the same thing by adding "-y."


The most common diminutive is -ito (or its feminine equivalent, -ita), sometimes expanded to -cito or, less commonly, -illo or even -zuelo.

You can add one of these endings to many nouns and adjectives to arrive at a diminutive form.


  • perrito (doggy)
  • hermanito (little brother)
  • papelito (slip of paper)

【西班牙语】perrito (m)  n. doggy, puppy, doggieperr+it+o

【西班牙语】perro  perro/rra adj.  极坏的m.f.  狗(perr+o



per-表示“通, 总”之义,请复习person, percent,performperfume, perfect, persperous




Augmentatives are the opposite of diminutives and aren't used as much.


Augmentative endings include -ote, -ota, -ón, -ona, -azo, and -aza.

 For examples, un arbolote is a large tree, and un hombrón is a big or tough dude.

augmentative[C:^5mentEtiv]n.用来增强词义的语句adj.有增加力的, 增大意义的(aug+ment+ative

augment[C: ^5ment]v.增加, 增大n.增加(aug+ment)

源自 拉丁语 augmentum [增加]


【西班牙语】árbol  m.  , 桅杆, (árb+ol)


【英语】arbor [ar·bor || 'ɑ:bə]n.  凉亭, 棚架; 心轴; 浮子; 树木, 乔木(arb+or)


【拉丁语】arbor, arboris    N (3rd) F tree; tree trunk; mast; oar; ship; gallows; spearshaft; beam; squid?;arb+or


Just as the diminutives sometimes are used to denote an endearing quality, the augmentatives can be used to convey a negative connotation.

Whereas un perrito may be a cute puppy, un perrazo could be a big scary dog.



One augmentative, -ísimo, and its feminine and plural forms are used with adjectives to form a superlative.

Bill Gates isn't just rich, he's riquísimo.



【英语】brave[breiv]adj.勇敢的, 无所畏惧的,鲜艳的; 炫耀的,很好的; 极成功的



Pejoratives are added to words to indicate contempt or some form of undesirability.


They include -aco, -aca, -acho, -acha, -ajo, -aja, -ote, -ota, -ucho, and -ucha.

The precise translation often depends on the context.

Examples include casucha, a house that's falling apart, and ricacho, referring to a person who is rich in some undesirable way, such as arrogant.

fall apart v.崩溃, 土崩瓦解

arrogant[5ArE^Ent]adj.骄傲自大的, 傲慢无礼的(ar+rog+ant

an arrogant person骄傲自大的人

be arrogant toward sb.对某人傲慢无礼

【西班牙语】casucha (f)  n. slum, hovel, run-down and squalid residence that is unfit for human habitationcas+uch+a

【西班牙语】casa f.  房子, , 家务, 商号, , , 顾主(cas+a)

【西班牙语】casar  vi.  结婚, 下同样的赌注vt.  主持婚礼, 协调(cas+ar


【法语】caser [kaze]v.t. 安顿,安置;<>给安排职务,使得到位置(cas+er


se ~ <>结婚,得到安顿,找到一个位置I v.t. 1. []放进家具等的格子里:caser des papiers 把文件放进格子里

2. []安顿,安置:trouver un logement pour caser un ami 找一个住所安顿一位朋友

3. []给安排职务,使得到位置:caser qn 安插某人

caser sa fille 嫁女儿

II se caser 1. 安身,得到安顿

2. 被安插,受到安排

【意大利语】casa  s.f.(1) 房子,房屋,住宅:

casa di citta城市住宅

casa di campagna 乡村住宅

case popolari (市政府或社会团体等兴建的) 居民住宅

casa privata 私人住宅

casa signorile 高级住宅

casa colonica 佃农房屋

casa esposta a mezzogiorno 朝南房子

【拉丁语】casacasa, casae n. f. cottage/small humble dwelling, hut/hovel; home; house; shop, booth; farm (late);cas+a


English cognates(英语同源)

These suffixes are ones that are similar to suffixes in English and have a similar meaning.

 Nearly all of them have come to both languages by way of Greek or Latin.

Most have an abstract meaning, or are used to change one part of speech into another.

Here are some of the more commonly used cognates along with an example of each:

  • -aje — -age — kilometraje (like mileage, but in kilometers)
  • -ancia — -ancy — discrepancia (discrepancy)
  • -arquía — -archy — monarquía (monarchy)
  • -ático — -atic — lunático (lunatic)
  • -ble — -ble — manejable (manageable)
  • -cida, cidio — -cide — insecticida (insecticide)
  • -ción — -tion — agravación (aggravation)
  • -cracia — -cracy — democracia (democracy)
  • -crata — -crat — burócrata (bureaucrat)
  • -ancia — -ancy — discrepancia (discrepancy)
  • -dad — -ity — pomposidad (pomposity)
  • -esa, -iz, -isa — -ess — actriz (actress)
  • -fico, -fica — -fic — horrífico (horrific)
  • -filo, -filia — -file — bibliófilo (bibliophile)
  • -fobia — -phobia — claustrofobia (claustrophobia)
  • -fono — -phone — teléfono (telephone)
  • -dad — -ity — pomposidad (pomposity)
  • -icio, -icia — -ice — avaricia (avarice)
  • -ificar — -ify — dignificar (to dignify)
  • -ismo — -ism — budismo (Buddhism)
  • -dad — -ity — pomposidad (pomposity)
  • -ista — -ist — dentista (dentist)
  • -itis — -itis — flebitis (phlebitis)
  • -tud — -tude — latitud (latitude)
  • -izo — -ish — rojizo (reddish)
  • -or, -ora — -er — pintor (painter)
  • -osa, -oso — -ous — maravilloso (marvelous)


Continue to the following page for miscellaneous suffixes.




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