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8.20: More Suffixes: -ful, -less, -ly, and -y

Difficulty Level: At Grade Created by: CK-12
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More Suffixes: -ful, -less, -ly, and -y

1. Each of these four suffixes changes a noun into an adjective. Notice that knot is a noun; it names a thing: “There is a knot in that board.” But if we add -y or -less to it, we get adjectives, words that describe nouns: “That board is knotty, but the other board is knotless.” Knotty and knotless are adjectives describing the noun board.

2. Also, the word man is a noun: “He is a man.” But if we add -ful or -ly to it, we get adjectives: “He is a manful person” and “He is a manly fellow.” Manful is an adjective describing person, and manly is an adjective describing fellow.

3. The suffixes -ful, -less, -ly, and -y can be used to change nouns into adjectives.

4. Combine the nouns and suffixes below to make adjectives:

Noun + Suffix = Adjective
doubt + less = doubtless
doubt + ful = doubtful
sleep + less = sleepless
sleep + y = sleepy
cheer + less = cheerless
cheer + ful = cheerful
cheer + y = cheery
weight + y = weighty
weight + less = weightless
thought + ful = thoughtful
thought + less = thoughtless
daughter + ly = daughterly

5. Each of the following adjectives consists of a noun plus one of the four suffixes you've been working with in this lesson. Analyze each adjective into its stem noun and suffix:

Adjective = Noun + Suffix
successful = success + ful
delightful = delight + ful
tricky = trick + y
sightless = sight + less
worshipful = worship + ful
knightly = knight + ly
knotty = knot +t + y
bottomless = bottom + less
flavorful = flavor + ful
twisty = twist + y
syrupy = syrup + y
lovely = love + ly
joyful = joy + ful
motherless = mother + less
rightful = right + ful
peppery = pepper + y
friendly = friend + ly
motherly = mother + ly

6. Four suffixes that turn nouns into adjectives are -ful, -less, -ly, and -y.

Teaching Notes.

Item 2. There is a second suffix spelled <ly> that is used to form adverbs out of adjectives, as in calm and calmly or quick and quickly. The students study this second -ly suffix in Lesson 30 of Book 7.

Item 4. It may be useful to point out to the students that -ful and -less form adjectives with almost exactly opposite meanings: truthful vs. truthless, for instance. The suffixes -y and -less also often form pairs of opposites, as in knotty and knotless.

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Date Created:
Feb 23, 2012
Last Modified:
Jul 07, 2015
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