Posted by: Idioma Extra | January 21, 2010

Thursday’s Tidbit

Adding Suffixes to Form Nouns (PART 2)

-ment (nouns from verbs and adjectives)

-ment is another suffix that is used to make nouns from verbs and occasionally from adjectives:

enjoy replace appoint
  • Enjoyment is the most important thing in life and you simply don’t know how to enjoy your job.
  • You will need to replace your computer’s keyboard and unfortunately replacements cost $150.
  • I don’t know if I will be appointed to the job but I have an appointment to see the manager this morning.

-ance / -ence (nouns from adjectives and verbs)

-ance and -ence are suffixes that are used to make nouns from adjectives and sometimes from verbs:

absent independent important admit appear exist
  • Her absence was noticed at the meeting.
  • The importance of independence for employees should not be underestimated. Micro-managing can stifle creativity and efficiency.
  • Admittance to the theatre is not permitted once the show has started.
  • His appearance did not allow him to get the job.
  • His existence as a leader was threatened when people stopped believing in him.

-more restrictive noun suffixes (nouns from nouns)

-ship (abstract nouns denoting different kinds of relationships)

relationship friendship partnership
  • His friendship with Carole slowly turned into a relationship.
  • Jack’s going to go into partnership with the government in an important contract.

-hood (abstract nouns denoting different kinds of ‘families’)

childhood motherhood
  • Childhood and motherhood/fatherhood are two very important stages in our lives.

Test Yourself!

Investigate the following adjectives and determine what suffix they need to become a noun. Then, choose the correct noun to complete the sentences.






  1. Even though Jake didn’t like golfing, he knew a ______________ at the country club was critical to making good contacts with his job.
  2. The ___________ of the office was eerie as Jane continued working past 9 o’clock. She decided she was going to leave soon.
  3. Rob liked everything about his new office except the _______________. He knew he was going to have to be careful when leaving the office at night.
  4. The new _______________ of desks in the classroom confused the students when they walked into class.

Answers from the Last Tidbit

1. The scarcity of paper in the office began to worry the teachers who had to print exams for tomorrow’s class.
2. John’s weakness after his surgery was no surprise to his family. They knew it would be a couple months until he had his full strength back.
3. After Jessica messed up at work and cost the company $3,000, she knew the probability of her getting fired was high.
4. Bob knew he needed a vacation when he couldn’t do simple multiplication of 30 x 2 without a calculator.
5. New information indicates that people’s forgetfulness is increasing. Some think it’s because there are so many things to worry about and not enough time to remember and process them.


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