EdPlace's Y2 Home Learning English Lesson: Suffixes

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Get them started on the lesson below and then jump into our teacher-created activities to practice what they've learnt. We've recommended five to ensure they feel secure in their knowledge - 5-a-day helps keeps the learning loss at bay (or so we think!).

Are they keen to start practising straight away? Head to the bottom of the page to find the activities. 

Now...onto the lesson!


Key Stage 1 Statutory Requirement for English 
Year 2 students should be taught to add suffixes to spell longer words including -ment, -ness, -ful, -less, -ly and to read words containing common suffixes.


Want to know how to improve your child's writing?

There are a range of different spelling rules that children need to learn to support them with their writing. Adding suffixes to words can make their writing more interesting to read, so it’s important they know how to spell them correctly too. It can feel like there are lots of different spelling rules out there, but this lesson breaks down the main things your child needs to know about suffixes.

We're sure that if you follow this article through, your child will be able to:

1) Understand the meaning of the suffixes and the rules to adding them to root words

2) Apply this understanding to their reading and writing

3) Explain if a word with a suffix is spelt correctly, or not, and why


Step 1: Vocabulary Check!

It’s important to check your child’s understanding of these keywords before moving on as they will come up throughout the lesson.

Suffix – A suffix is a letter or a group of letters which we add to the end of a root word to change the meaning. 

Root word – A root word is a word that makes sense on its own. A suffix or prefix can be added to the word to make a new word. 

Vowel a, e, i, o, u

Consonant – any letter in the alphabet that is not a, e, i, o or u

Syllable – The single sound in a spoken word. Syllables can also be talked about as the ‘beats’ in a word. Try clapping a word to see how many beats, or syllables it has. ‘House’ has 1 syllable. ‘Croc-o-dile’ has 3 syllables. 

Verb – An action word, it tells us what something or someone is doing. The yellow star was shining brightly.

Noun – A person, place or a thing. The yellow star was shining brightly.

Adjective – A word which describes something. The yellow star was shining brightly. 

Adverb – A word which describes a verb, how something is being done. The yellow star was shining brightly.


Step 2 - What does each suffix mean?

Your child will have learnt some suffixes in Year 1 so may already have an understanding of what this is all about! The focus in Year 1 will have been on adding –s, -es, -ing, -ed, -er and –est to root words.

Now, let’s look at the 5 suffixes we will be focusing on today and what they mean. 

-less means ‘without’. For example, hopeless (without hope) or careless (without care). 

-ment – the act of doing something or the result of an action. For example, excitement (the act of exciting) or punishment (the result of punishing). 

-ful – changes a noun to an adjective (describing word) For example wonder becomes wonderful and tear becomes tearful. A common mistake children often make here is to spell this suffix as the word ‘full’ – remember to point out to your child that the suffix only has 1 ‘l’!

-ly – usually added to a root word to form an adverb (a word which describes a verb, doing word). For example, quickly becomes quickly and happy becomes happily

-ness – changes an adjective to a noun. For example, happiness or madness.


Step 3 - What are the rules?

Rule 1

If a suffix starts with a consonant (which the 5 we are learning all do), it is usually added to the root word with no change. 

For example,

enjoy + ment = enjoyment

dark + ness = darkness

hand + ful = handful 

As with all rules, there are exceptions. 

argue + ment = argument

Did you notice that the e has been removed?

Rule 2

If a root word has 2 syllables and ends in a y, change the y to an i before adding the suffix. 

For example,

happy + ness = happiness

funny + ly = funnily

messy + ly = messily


Step 4 - Putting it into practise

Now, why not have a go at putting some of these spelling rules in to practise? Firstly, ask your child to write each word with the suffix correctly. 

1) happy + ly = 

2) hope + less = 

3) merry + ment = 

4) sad + ness = 

5) beauty + ful = 

Next, ask your child to ‘mark this work’ – can they find the mistakes and explain how to correct them? 

6) Funnyly

7) Careless

8) Clumsiness

9) Plentyful

10) Wonderful

11) Excitement 

12) Arguement 

13) Happyness


Step 5 - How About Testing Your Understanding?

We hope your child is feeling more confident with suffixes! If so, now is the perfect time for you to put them to the test. Here are some activities which will help to consolidate their learning. We recommend doing them in this order so that the learning builds progressively. 

All activities are created by teachers and automatically marked. Plus, with an EdPlace subscription, we can automatically progress your child at a level that's right for them. Sending you progress reports along the way so you can track and measure progress, together - brilliant! 

Activity 1: Add Suffixes: - ment, -ness, -ful, -less, -ly

Activity 2: Add Suffixes to Words Ending in a Single Consonant

Activity 3: Know Your Suffixes: -less

Activity 4: Making Adjectives by Adding Suffixes: -ful and -less

Activity 5: Use Suffixes: -tion



1) Happily (swap y for i)

2) hopeless

3) merriment (swap y for i)

4) sadness 

5) beautiful (swap y for i)

6) Incorrect – Funnily – swap y for i

7) Correct

8) Correct

9) Incorrect – Plentiful – swap y for i

10) Correct

11) Correct

12) Incorrect – Argument – no e

13) Incorrect – Happiness – Swap y for i


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