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# 9.20: The Suffix -ness

Difficulty Level: At Grade Created by: CK-12

## The Suffix -ness

1. Earlier you saw that one of the suffixes spelled -er adds the meaning “one that does” and changes verbs into nouns: The word teach is a verb; the word teacher is a noun that means “one who teaches.” Another suffix that changes words into nouns is -ness. The suffix -ness changes adjectives into nouns.

2. An adjective is a word that describes or identifies a noun. Any word is an adjective if it will fit into this blank and make sense:

The very _____________ thing seemed okay.

Four of the following words are adjectives and will fit into the blank in the sentence. Find the four and fill in the blanks in the four sentences:

\begin{align*}& \text{elephant} && \text{smooth} && \text{stubborn} && \text{inject} && \text{exact} && \text{bright} \end{align*}

The very _____________ one seemed okay.

The very _____________ one seemed okay.

The very _____________ one seemed okay.

The very _____________ one seemed okay.

3. The four words you found that fit into the adjective-blank should have been smooth, stubborn, exact, and bright. Now compare these pairs of words:

\begin{align*}& \text{smooth} && \text{smoothness} \\ & \text{stubborn} && \text{stubbornness} \\ & \text{exact} && \text{exactness} \\ & \text{bright} && \text{brightness}\end{align*}

You've seen that the four words in the left column are all adjectives. The four words in the right column are all nouns. A noun is the name of something. Any word that can fit into this blank and make sense is a noun:

Their _____________surprised us.

Try putting the four words from the right column into the blanks in the sentences below, and see whether or not they make sense there and are nouns:

Their _____________ surprised us.

Their _____________ surprised us.

Their _____________ surprised us.

Their _____________ surprised us.

4. Each of these four nouns consists of a shorter adjective plus the suffix -ness. Analyze them to show this:

Noun = Adjective + Suffix
smoothness = +
stubbornness = +
exactness = +
brightness = +

5. Change each of the following adjectives into a noun by adding the suffix -ness to each one:

Adjective + Suffix = Noun
complete + =
feeble + =
crabby + =
elaborate + =
suitable + =
goldlen + =
direct + =

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