Contrary to the primary suffix, secondary suffixes are different. They work on anything except verb roots. They can be applied to pronouns, adjectives, and nouns too. However to understand secondary suffixes we need to understand their rules too.
1. If the secondary suffix starts with a vowel or y, then the noun loses its vowel.
2. If the secondary suffix starts with a vowel or y, then u noun becomes av.

Let us take a look at some common secondary suffixes.

Suffix Meaning Gender Vowel change

Coming from X Masculine Strong
A small X Masculine None
The quality of X-ness Neuter None
Made full of X Masculine None

Coming from X Masculine None


The a-suffix usually mean, “Coming from the noun”. Its meaning, however, depends on the type of noun it modifies; usually, the first vowel is strengthened

पुत्र → पौत्र
putra → pautra
Son, child → “coming from a son,” a grandson

कुरु → कौरव
kuru → kaurava
Kuru (Arjuna’s ancestor) → “coming from Kuru,” a descendant of Kuru

Majority of noun formed with this suffixes are masculine, however, some of them are ordinary adjectives too.


aka is usually used to denote smallness of the matter and also in some cases the material of which it is made of.

पुत्र → पुत्रक
putra → putraka
Son, child → little son, darling son

अश्व → अश्वक
aśva → aśvaka
Horse → little horse, a colt


This suffix denotes the quality of being. It is as similar as –ness in English.

कृष्ण → कृष्णत्व
kṛṣṇa → kṛṣṇatva
Black → blackness


This suffix denotes “to be made of “or “consisting of “

आनन्द → आनन्दमय
ānanda → ānandamaya
Bliss → consisting of bliss


This suffix has several meanings but it is similar to a suffix although in the neuter gender. It also means”state of being”

चर् → आचर् → आचार → आचार्य
car → ācar → ācāra → ācārya
Walk → follow a path, practice; follow → custom, rules of conduct → one who knows the ācāra aacharaya