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Formation of Adjectives

Many of the English adjectives exist independently, i.e., they do not form from other words, for example, good, bad, black, etc., but there is a huge list of adjectives formed from nouns and verbs. There are no general rules for forming adjectives, but many adjectives are from a base word by adding some group of words at the beginning or at the end of a word called prefixes and suffixes.

Formation of Adjectives From Nouns

Many adjectives are formed nouns by adding the suffixes able, al, an, ate, ic, ous, ly, y, ish, en, ful, less, etc.

The suffix “less” means without it turn a noun into an adjective.

Noun Adjective
Fear Fearless
Harm Harmless
Home Homeless
Care Careless
Use Useless
Shame Shameless
Power Powerless
Hair Hairy/Hairless
Help Helpful/Unhelpful/Helpless/td>
Harm Unharmed/Harmful/Harmless
Meaning Meaningless
Pain Painful/Painless


Examples
A useless vehicle.
A careless person.
The suffix “-ful” means full of

Noun Adjective
Beauty Beautiful
Help Helpful
Bounty Bountiful
Hope Hopeful


Example
  • She was wearing a beautiful dress.
  • A bountiful supply of coconuts.
Adjectives can also be formed by adding the suffix “-y,” to a noun which means the stated thing or is characterized by. 

Noun Adjective
Noise Noisy
Storm Stormy
Sun Sunny
Thirst Thirsty
Mud Muddy
Juice Juicy
Cloud Cloudy
Sleep Sleepy
Friend Friendly
Man Manly
King Kingly
Woman Womanly
Father Fatherly
Ink Inky
Dirt Dirty
Health Healthy
Wealth Wealthy
Luck Lucky/Unlucky
Anger Angry

Many adjectives are formed from nouns with the addition of the suffixes “-ible, -able.

Noun Adjective
Pleasure Pleasurable
Pardon Pardonable
Laugh Laughable
Respect Respectable
Sense Sensible
Advice Advisable
Honor Honorable
Dispute Disputable
Knowledge knowledgeable
Work Workable
Belief Believable
Permission Permissible/Impermissible
Nonsense Sensible


Formation of adjectives by adding the suffix “ic” and “ical.

Noun Adjective
Critic Critical
Publicity Public
Artist Artistic
Hero Heroic
Poetry Poetic
Atom Atomic
History Historic
Photography Photographic


The suffix “-ish” is used with nouns to form adjectives to say what something comes from or which say what a person, thing, or action is like 

Noun Adjective
Boy Boyish
Child Childish
Style Stylish
Girl Girlish
Fool Foolish
Ireland Irish


Adjectives formed with “ous.

Noun Adjective
Glory Glorious
Danger Dangerous
Courage Courageous
Fame Famous

Noun Adjective
Wood Wooden
Wool Woolen
Gold Golden


Adjectives formed with other prefixes and suffixes are given below in the table.

Noun Adjective
Education Educated
Nation National
Clothing Clothed
Employment Unemployed
Cookery Cooked
Damage Damaging
Health Healthy/Unhealthy
Produce Productive
Nonsense Insensitive
Music Musical/Unmusical
Information Informative/Uninformative/Informed/Uninformed
Brute Brutal
Research Searching
Industry Industrial
Alexandria Alexandrian
Hercules Herculean
Fortune Fortunate
Trouble Troublesome
Quarrel Quarrelsome
North Northern
East Eastern
West Western
Paid Unpaid
Whole Wholesome
Awe Awesome
South Southern
Sudan Sudanese
Passion Passionate
China Chinese
Progress Progressive
Furniture Furnished

 

Formation of Adjectives From Verbs

Verb Adjective
Accustom Customary
Achieve Achievable
Act Acting
Active Inactive
Add Additionally
Advantage Advantaged
Amaze Amazed/Amazing
Anger Angry
Apply Applicable
Abhorrence Abhorrent
Abort Abortive
Abridge Abridged
Enthusiast Enthusiastic
Deserve Deserved
Suspect Suspected
Prevent Preventive
Behave Behavioral
Believe Believable

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