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Nominal suffixes

Dutch has a great number of suffixes which are found in derived nouns. They range from native, very frequent, and semantically versatile such as -er, as in the agent noun werker (< werkento work), the instrument noun stofzuigerdust suckervacuum cleaner, i.e. something one vacuums with and the patient noun bijsluiterencloserinformation leaflet, to non-native, monosemous, rare -ier (/je:/) as in hotelierhotel owner, hotelier.


Read more about the various individual suffixes via the following links:

  • -aal and -eel as in rivaalrival and korporaalcorporal
  • -aar and -enaar as in wandelaarwalker and schuldenaardebtor
  • -aard as in wreedaardbrute
  • -aat as in AziaatAsian, resultaatresult and in chloraatchlorate
  • -air as in diamantairdiamond seller
  • -aris as in bibliothecarislibrarian (< bibliotheeklibrary)
  • -dom as in mensdommankind < menshuman, prinsdomprincipality < prinsprince, and rijkdomwealth < rijkrich
  • -e as in de blindethe blind person (< blindblind) and het paranormalethe paranormal (< paranormaalparanormal)
  • -een as found in inhabitant names of common gender based on geographical names such as ChileenChilean (< ChiliChile), with a plural form in -en (ChilenenChileans), as well as in (international scientific) chemical compound names of neuter gender such as benzeenbenzene.
  • -ees as in ChineesChinese person
  • -elaar, a native non-productive cohering suffix found in names for trees and bushes based on fruit names such as perelaar/'pe.rə.lar/pear tree < peerpear
  • -enis, a native cohering suffix found in action nouns derived from native verb stems. There are two allomorphs, -nis as in hindernisobstacle (< hinderento hinder) and -tenis as in bekentenisconfession (bekennento confess)
  • -er as in werker (< werkento work) and stofzuigervacuum cleaner, i.e. something one vacuums with
  • -erd as in dikkerdbig fellow, fatso
  • -erik as in slimmerikclever person (< slimsmart)
  • -es as in voogdesfemale guardian. There is an allomorph -esse in e.g. secretaressefemale secretary
  • -eur as in masseurmasseur (cf. masserento massage), skiffeursingle scull rower (< English skiff) and amateuramateur
  • -euse as in masseusefemale masseur (cf. masseurmasseur) and friteusedeep frying pan
  • -heid as in gladheidsmoothness (< gladsmooth) and correctheidcorrectness (< correctcorrect)
  • -iaan and -aan as in HegeliaanHegelian (< Hegel) and mohammedaanmuslim (Mohammed), inhabitant names AmerikaanAmerican; there is also a chemical use (saturated hydrocarbon) in formations like ethaanethane, C2H6
  • -ief as in explosiefexplosive
  • -iek as in symbolieksymbolism (< symboolsymbol) and semantieksemantics
  • -ier as in herbergierinn-keeper (< herberginn) and glazenierstained-glass artist (< glasglass)
  • -ier (French) as in hotelierhotel owner, hotelier
  • -ière as in cabaretièrefemale cabaret artist and bonbonnièrebonbonnière
  • -iet as in IsraëlietIsraelite, JemenietYemenite, meteorietmeteorite, grafietgraphite and chlorietchlorite
  • -igheid as in gekkigheidfoolishness
  • -ij and allomorphs as in voogdijguardianship (< voogdguardian), boerderijfarm (< boerfarmer), ambtenarijbureaucracy (< ambtenaarcivil servant)) and mooipraterijhumbug (< mooibeautiful and praattalk)
  • -ijn as in augustijnAugustinian and Argentijnargentinian
  • -in as in vriendinfemale friend (< vriendfriend) and leeuwinlioness (< leeuwlion)
  • -ing as in uitvindinginvention (< uitvindento invent) and verhogingincrease, platform (< verhogento increase)
  • -isme as in modernismemodernism (< modernmodern) and calvinismcalvinism (< CalvijnCalvin)
  • -iteit as in absurditeitabsurdity (< absurdabsurd)
  • -ling as in dorpelingvillager (< dorpvillage) and krakelingtype of cookie, cracknel (< krakento crack)
  • -oir as in reservoirreservoir
  • -oot as in Caïrootsomeone from Cairo
  • -or as in donordonor, dictatordictator and tumortumor
  • -rice as in directricefemale director (cf. directeurdirector) and organisatricefemale organiser (cf. organisatororganiser)
  • -schap. Two suffixes can be distinguished: non-neuter -schap (de) as in vriendschapfriendship, de broederschapthe fraternity and dronkenschapdrunkenness, and neuter -schap (het) as in martelaarschapmartyrdom (< martelaarmartyr)
  • -sel as in zaagselsawdust (< zagento saw)
  • -st as in vangstcatch (< vangento catch)
  • -ster as in zwemsterfemale swimmer (< zwemmento swim)
  • -tal as in drietaltriple (< driethree)
  • -t as in teelt[telt]cultivation (< teel[tel]to grow)
  • -te as in stiltesilence (< stilsilent)
  • -voud as in veelvoudmultitude (< veelmany, much)
Special categories:

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