Spanish Grammar Guide

Important Spanish suffixes

-ito / -ita (it has two equivalents: -ico and -illo)
-cito / -cita

When we put these suffixes at the end of a word, the word gets modified. There is no rule about when to use -ito or when to use -cito, sometimes one just works better than the other. We can use them with nouns, adjectives or adverbs.

When the word is a noun, the suffix has diminutive value:

Casa - house

Casita - little house 

When the word is an adjective or an adverb, the meaning is "softer":

Gordo - fat (sounds stronger)

Gordito - “fatty” (sounds softer)

Baja - short

Bajita - “a little short” (sounds softer)

-ísimo / -ísima

It has an augmentative value. We only use this suffix with adjectives or adverbs.

Marta es guapa. (Marta is pretty.)

Marta es guapísima. (Marta is [really] pretty.)

Yo como mucho. (I eat a lot.)

Yo como muchísimo. (I [really] eat a lot.)

NOTE: We cannot use all suffixes with all words. Sometimes we can, sometimes we can't. There is no specific rule.

For example, poquito is common but "muchito" is not common.

Using diminutive suffixes with proper names

It is very common to use diminutive suffixes with proper names for children or adults with whom there is a close relationship.

Laura - Laurita

Carlos - Carlitos 

Pedro - Pedrito

Sample dialogue

Señor Pérez: Hola Señora García. ¿Quiere usted un cafecito?

Señora García: Hola Señor Pérez. Sí, por favor. Su casita es hermosísima. Esa mesita es muy bonita. 

SP: Gracias, la compré hace una semana. Señora García, ¿fue usted al restaurante nuevo de Pedrito?

SG: Sí, estuve allí el martes y me gustó muchísimo. La carnita era deliciosa. También comí el pescado con patatitas y cebollitas. Todo estaba delicioso. 

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