Word Building: Suffix -OUS
What is a suffix? It is a letter or a group of letters we add to a word to change its meaning. We can add suffixes to a noun and make an adjective, for instance. Likewise, when we add the suffix -OUS to some nouns, they become adjectives.
The suffix -OUS means “full of” or “having the quality of”. Let’s look at some commonly used adjectives ending in -OUS:
Meaning: wanting something that belongs to another person.
Ex: You shouldn’t be envious of people who have more than you do.
Meaning: can cause harm.
Ex: Smoking is a dangerous habit.
Meaning: known by way many people.
Ex: Jennifer Lopez is a world-famous performer.
Meaning: having a strong desire for success.
Ex: John was extremely ambitious when he was young.
Meaning: unusually surprising and unexpected.
Ex: Houdini made a miraculous escape from the ropes.
Ex: I’m always nervous before an exam.
Meaning: difficult to understand.
Ex: The woman disappeared under mysterious circumstances.
Meaning: unhappy because you wish you had something that belongs to another person.
Ex: Rhina is jealous of her ex-husband’s new wife.
Meaning: refers to a substance able to cause illness or death.
Ex: We saw a poisonous snake this morning. We were really scared.
Now when you learned the new vocabulary, try to answer these questions or discuss them with an English learning friend:
- Are you nervous before an exam?
- Do you consider yourself an ambitious person?
- Do you know anyone famous? Who? Talk about them.
- How many poisonous animals do you know?
- Do you live in a dangerous neighbourhood/town/city? Talk about it.
- Do you know a mysterious story? Tell it to your English speaking/learning partner.
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