Spanish Word of the Day Archive
Saturday October 15, 2011

-ito, suffix:

Spanish has lots of suffixes that it adds to other words to change their meaning in various ways, and -ito is the most common suffix of all.
Its basic function is just to mean little. It is often added to nouns:

Su hijito está enfermo.
Her little son is ill.

Le pusieron una mesita para escribir o jugar barajas.
They gave him a little table to write on, or play cards.

As you’ll have seen from the previous examples, when the word you’re adding -ito to ends in an -a or an -o, you simply knock it off and add on -ita or -ito. Why don’t you try it with casa and libro?
You can add -ito to words other than nouns. For instance, adverbs:

Iba manejando despacito.
She was driving slowly.

Notice that you don’t translate despacito as ‘a little slowly’. Here -ito is just intensifying the basic meaning of despacio.

ANSWERS: casita, librito.

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