This week we are going to look at making adjectives from nouns. There are many ways that we can form adjectives and one of these ways is by adding a suffix to a word. Or in other words, putting some extra letters on the end of an existing word. So let’s have a look at some common ones.

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OUS – There are many words we can make by using the suffix OUS. For example we can change the words danger, poison, nerves, religion and mystery into dangerous, poisonous, nervous, religious and mysterious. You will notice that sometimes we have to drop or change a letter to accommodate the new word, such as when we change victory to victorious we have to change the y to an i.
Australia has a lot of dangerous animals. A lot of the snakes there are very venomous.

ICAL – This is also a very useful suffix. We can make words from such nouns as theatre, medicine, alphabet, grammar and psychology. When we add the suffix –ical to these words, they become theatrical, medical, alphabetical, grammatical and psychological. Again we sometimes have to change or add letters to make the necessary change to the word.
The have made a theatrical version of the movie The Lion King.

FUL – One of the most common suffixes in the English language is –ful. We have nouns like beauty, skill, trust, peace and success that can be turned into the adjectives beautiful, skilful, trustful, peaceful and successful. One of the easiest ways to think of this is by putting the word “full” in front of the noun. For example, full of beauty means beautiful. Or full of peace means peaceful.
It is always good for your health to go and spend a peaceful day out in the country away from the city. You should find a beautiful part of the country and have a nice, relaxing day.
ULAR – Another common suffix is –ular. Words such as muscle, vehicle, molecule, module and single can become the very useful adjectives muscular, vehicular, molecular, modular and singular.
We have the ability to look at life at a molecular level.

ABLE – Probably the most common way of making an adjective is to add the suffix –able. A lot of words ending in able come from adding suffixes to verbs, such as debate – debatable, excuse – excusable, manage – manageable and dispose – disposable. But there are some nouns that we can also add the suffix able to. Such as fashion – fashionable, transfer – transferable, objection – objectionable and comfort – comfortable.
The story she was telling was not believable.

There are many other suffixes that we use every day in English that allows us to construct different and very useful adjectives. You will find that there are words that you use that you can break down to its root word, whether that be a noun or a verb. This will help you to create better and more interesting sentences. In a later blog we will look at prefixes, that go at the beginning of words.


K. Charles

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