April 20, 2012

Affixes

The suffix – has many uses.

Noun -> Feminine Noun (Vocation)

नौकर (servant) -> नौकरी (job, service)

Verb Stem -> Abstract Feminine Noun

बोल(ना) (to speak)-> बोली (speech, language)

Masculine Noun -> Diminutive Feminine Noun

डंडा (stick) -> डंडी (small stick)

Adjective -> Noun

अच्छा (good) -> अच्छाई (goodness)

Noun -> Noun / Adjective

हिन्दुस्तान -> हिन्दुस्तानी

विदेश (foreign country) -> विदेशी (foreign, foreigner)

जंगल (forest, jungle) -> जंगली (wild)

अक

Certain nouns ending in –अन or ना are converted to an agentive noun by changing the –अन to –अक.
चिंतन (contemplation) -> चिंतक (thinker), आलोचना (criticism) -> आलोचक (critic), समर्थन (support) -> समर्थक (supporter)

आव

The suffix –आव converts a verb stem to a noun. It comes from Hindi/Sanksrit.

चुनना (to choose) -> चुनाव (election, choice)
चढ़ना (to climb, ascend) -> चढ़ाव (upswing, ascent)
बदलना (to change) -> बदलाव (change)

The prefix  means “not”, “un-“, “im-“, “without”, “-less”, etc. It comes from Sanskrit/Hindi.

With adjectives:

+ संभव (possible) = असंभव (impossible)

+ सफ़ल (successful) = असफ़ल (unsuccessful)

With nouns:

+ हिंसा (violence) = अहिंसा (nonviolence)

अन

The prefix अन means “without”, “not”, etc.

With adjectives:

अन + जाना (known) = अनजाना (unknown)

With nouns:

अनअंत (end) = अनंत (endless)

पन

The suffix पन converts adjectives (and occasionally nouns) into abstract nouns, like “-ness”, “-ity”, “-hood” in English. It comes from Sanksrit/Hindi. Nouns with this suffix are masculine.

पागल (insane) + पन = पागलपन (insanity)

अकेला (alone) + पनअकेलापन (loneliness)

बच्चा (child) –> बचपन (childhood)

निर–  / नि

The prefixes निर and नि mean “without”. It comes from Sanskrit/Hindi.

निर + दोष (blame) = निर्दोष (blameless, innocent)

नि + डर (fear) = निडर (fearless)

अप

The prefix अप– indicates something bad, like “dis-“, “in-“, etc. in English. It comes from Sanskrit.

अप + मान (honor, respect) = अपमान (dishonor, disrespect, insult)
अप + शब्द (word) = अपशब्द (bad word, abuse)

कु

The prefix कु– transforms a noun into a noun or adjective indicating something bad, evil, inferior, etc. It comes from Sanskrit/Hindi.

कु + प्रथा (practice / custom) = कुप्रथा (malpractice, bad custom)

कु + कर्म (deed) = कुकर्म (misdeed)

सु

The prefix सु transforms a noun or adjective into another noun or adjective indicating something good. It comes from Sanskrit/Hindi.

सु + कर्म (deed) = सुकर्म (good deed)
सु + रक्षा (protection) = सुरक्षा (security, i.e. good protection)

दुर्

The prefix दुर् indicates something bad or unfortunate. It comes from Sanskrit.

दुर् + घटना (event, incident) = दुर्घटना (accident)
दुर् +भाग्य (fortune, luck) = दुर्भाग्य (misfortune)

पुनर्

The prefix पुनर्– is like “re-” in English. It comes from Sanskrit.

पुनर् + जन्म (birth) = पुनर्जन्म (rebirth)

The prefix – is like “-ful” in English; it indicates “with”, “together with”, or “full of”, etc. It comes from Sanskrit.

+ फल (fruit, result) = सफल (successful, fruitful)

स्व

The prefix स्व– indicates “one’s own”, “self-“, etc. It comes from Sanskrit.

स्व + भाव (feeling, emotion) = स्वभाव (one’s own nature, temperament)

सह

The prefix सह– indicates “together with”, “mutual”, “similar”, “same”, etc.

सह + योग (union) = सहयोग (cooperation)
सह + मत/मति (mind, thought) = सहमत (agreed), सहमति (agreement)

Words can have multiple prefixes, such as असहयोग.

ख़ुश

The prefix ख़ुश– means “happy”, “fortunate”, “good”, etc. It comes from Persian.

ख़ुश + क़िस्मत (fate, luck) = ख़ुशक़िस्मत (good luck)

ग़ैर

The prefix ग़ैर– indicates “ir-“, “il-“, “without”, etc. It comes from Arabic.

ग़ैर + क़ानूनी (legal) = ग़ैरक़ानूनी (illegal)
ग़ैर +ज़िम्मेदारी (responsibility) = ग़ैरज़िम्मेदारी (irresponsibility)

ना

The prefix ना– indicates “not”, “without”, like “im-“, “in-“, “un-“, etc. It comes from Persian.

ना + लायक (worthy) = नालायक (unworthy)
ना + मुमकिन (possible, thinkable) = नामुमकिन (impossible, unthinkable)

बद

The prefix बद– indicates something bad or unpleasant. It comes from Persian. It transforms a noun into an adjective or noun.

बद + सूरत (form, face, visage) = बदसूरत (ugly, unattractive)
बद + नाम (name) = बदनाम (infamous)

बे

The prefix बे– indicates “without”. It comes from Persian.

बे + होश (consciousness, senses) = बेहोश (unconscious)

ला

The prefix ला– indicates “without”. It comes from Arabic.

ला + परवाह (care) = लापरवाह (careless, reckless)

हम

The prefix हम– indicates togetherness.

हम + सफ़र (journey, travel) = हमसफ़र (companion, fellow traveler)

ता

The suffix –ता transforms an adjective into an abstract feminine noun. It comes from Sanskrit.

विभिन्न (different) + ता = विभिन्नता (difference)

आई

The suffix –आई transforms a verb stem into a feminine noun. It comes from Hindi.

पढ़(ना) (to read/study) + आई = पढ़ाई (study, education)

इक

The suffix –इक transforms a noun into an adjective. It comes from Sanskrit.

धर्म (religion) + इक = धार्मिक (religious)
परंपरा (tradition) + इक = पारंपरिक (traditional)

ईय

The suffix –ईय transforms a noun into an adjective. It comes from Sanskrit.
शास्त्रीय (classical)
भारतीय (Indian)

In Hindi, adjectives are often made from cognate nouns by changing an initial vowel to the vowel and appending the suffix –इक (in maatraa form). Here are a few examples:
विश्व (world) -> वैश्विक (global / worldwide)
दिन (day) -> दैनिक (daily)
विकल्प (option)-> वैकल्पिक (optional)

आवट

The suffix –आवट transforms a verb stem into a feminine noun. It comes from Hindi.

दिख(ना) (to appear) + आवट = दिखावट (appearance)

The suffix – changes a verb stem into a masculine noun. It comes from Hindi.

झगड़(ना) (to fight) + = झगड़ा (fight, quarrel)

त्व

The suffix –त्व changes a noun or adjective into an abstract masculine noun.

पुरुष (man) + त्व = पुरुषत्व (virility, manliness)

पूर्ण

The suffix –पूर्ण indicates “full of”, etc.

महत्व (important) + पूर्ण = महत्वपूर्ण (importance)

ईयत

The suffix –ईयत transforms an adjective into an abstract noun.

अहम (important) + –ईयत = अहमियत (importance)

पूर्वक

The suffix –पूर्वक turns a noun into an adverb.

ध्यान (attention/care) + पूर्वक = ध्यानपूर्वक (attentively, carefully)

मान

The suffix –मान converts a noun into an adjective. It comes from Sanskrit.

बुद्धि (wisdom/intelligence) + मान = बुद्धिमान (wise, intelligent)

आना

The suffix –आना converts a noun into an adjective or different noun. It comes from Persian.

साल (year) + आना = सालाना (annual)

दार

The suffix –दार converts a noun into another noun or an adjective. It comes from Persian.

दुकान (shop) + दारदुकानदार (shopkeeper)

ईमान (trust) + दारईमानदार (honest)

नाक

The suffix –नाक indicates “full of”. It comes from Persian.

ख़तरा (danger) + नाक = खतरनाक (dangerous)

ख़ाना

The suffix –ख़ाना indicates a place where something is located, etc. It comes from Persian.

ग़ुसल (washing) + ख़ानाग़ुसलख़ाना (washroom, bathroom)

ईन

The suffix –ईन converts a noun to an adjective. It comes from Persian.

नमक (salt) + ईन = नमकीन (salty snack)

मंद

The suffix –मंद converts a noun into an adjective. It comes from Persian.

अक़्ल (wisdom, intelligence) +  मन्द =  अक़्लमन्द (wise, intelligent)

The following article is posted under this category:

वाला
  • thank you thank you mb u could add some more of affixes i thin this is so useful! and as i undersood affix -पन indicates masculine gender naa?? thank you soooo much for the whole site bahut bahut achha hai!!!

    • Hi, Hélène! You’re welcome, and I am glad that you like this site. Thank you for commenting! Yes, as far as I know, all nouns with the affix -पन are masculine. All nouns with the suffix -ता are feminine, such as समान (“similar”) -> समानता (“similarity”). Often, all nouns with a particular suffix have the same gender. I will update this article soon with more information. If you like, you may subscribe to Facebook, e-mail, or Twitter for updates (if you haven’t already). You’re welcome to ask questions or make requests for new articles any time. Thanks!

  • आदित्य

    “-इक” also changes “अ” to “आ” (“धर्म” >> “धार्मिक”); “ई” and “ए” to “ऐ” (“वेद” >> “वैदिक”) and “उ,” “ऊ” and “ओ” to “औ (“बुद्ध” >> “बौद्धिक,” “लोक” >> “लौकिक”).

  • आदित्य

    The prefix “पुनर्” can also appear as “पुनः,” as in “पुनःप्रसार.”