Arsenio’s ESL Podcast: Season 3 – Episode 53 – Vocabulary Skills – Suffixes -ful & -less

Welcome back to another ESL podcast! I’m back with some more vocabulary today, and of course, your favorite type of skill….

SUFFIXES!

Two common suffixes you can add to words to make adjectives are -ful and -less. The suffix -ful means “full of” (fearful = full of fear, cheerful = full of cheer) and -less means “without” (fearless = without fear). For some words, either suffix can be added. For others, you can use on suffix but not the other.

-ful -ful and -less -less
successful painful/painless priceless
beautiful hopeful/hopeless sleepless
stressful thoughtful/thoughtless jobless
  useful/useless homeless

Task

Look at these word roots. which can take -ful and which can take -less? Which can take either? Make a diagram like the one above.

Words: harm, truth, power, point, beauty, care, help, worth

-ful -ful and less -less

2. Match the root word and correct suffix -ful or -less to complete these sentences.

Words: stress, home, fear, harm, wonder, point, success, power

  1. It’s _____________ to have come here. I’m so glad you invited me to come to this speaking engagement.
  2. A phobia is more than merely being _______________of something, like heights.
  3. You probably fear failure because it may be ____________ to your image.
  4. You feel ____________ when you’re in situations that you cannot control.
  5. Traveling can be very _____________ for a lot of us.
  6. After a lot of hard work, he was ___________in finally establishing himself as the CEO of the company.
  7. Her friends tried to reason with her, but it was _____________. She wouldn’t listen.
  8. In America, 1 million government workers are fearful that they may become _______________.

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