Noun (Nominal) Suffixes 

Forming nouns from other word forms

A spectacular sunset
 

 

 

Verb → Noun word form

VERB WORD FORM

Nouns may be formed from verbs, adjectives or other nouns. The forms are often Latin or Greek in origin.  There is no simple rule for adding suffixes, but there are patterns. 

SUBJ – NOUN PHRASE PRED: VERB  + COMP

Our plane

arrived at noon.

The plane

landed without difficulty.

We

departed on time.

A bus

transported us to our hotel comfortably.

NOUN WORD FORM

Adding a suffix to a verb form is one way of forming a noun.  A suffix is a part added to the end of a word. Examples of suffixes are listed below.

SUBJ– NOUN PHRASE PREDICATE: VERB + COMP

The arrival of our plane

was at noon.

The landing

was not difficult.

Our departure

was on time. 

The transportation 

was comfortable.

 

Categories:  NP –noun phrase; N – noun; VP – verb phrase; V – verb; Detdeterminer; PP – prepositional phrase; P – preposition; AdvP – adverb phrase; Adv – adverb; AdjP– adjective phrase; Adj – adjective; Compcomplement; Subject / Predicate

Functions: Subject:  Subject,   Predicate: Predicator (V) Complement:  elements required by the verb: object, indirect object, predicative complement  Adjuncts: (optional modifiers) Adj,  Adv, clause

Also see Adjective Suffixes – changing nouns to adjective forms.

 

 

 

A Noun

NP – DETERMINER + NOUN

A noun is a person, animal, place, thing, quality, action, or concept. It is the head element of a noun phrase (NP) which may include (1) a determiner: an article, and/or a quantifier;

The airplane landed smoothly. 

Airplanes  can land smoothly.

We saw an airplane.

The pilots reach an agreement.

NP – NOUN + MODIFIERS

(2) modifiers: an adjective, a modifying clause, a prepositional phrase, an infinitive, a gerund, a that-clause and modifiers to the modifiers (adverbs).

The airplane with the red wings landed smoothly. (PP)

The airplanes that are not overloaded can land smoothly. (modifying clause)

The airplanes arriving from overseas. [gerund clause]

The pilots reached an agreement to leave on time . (infinitive clause)

 

NP (noun phrase); PP (prepositional phrase) determiner
pre-position modifier (a modifier placed before the noun); post-position modifier (a modifier placed after the noun)
mutual (adj.) – two or more being of the same mind
(Swan 384) "What can follow a noun?"
See Articles Summary  a / an / the

 

 

 

 

 

 

Noun Forms

From Verbs, Adjectives & Nouns

 

 

 

Common Suffixes — verbs to nouns

SUFFIX VERB – NOUN VERB – NOUN VERB – NOUN

-AL    condition, quality

arrive –arrival

approve – approval

deny –denial

propose –proposal

refuse – refusal

dismiss – dismissal

-ANCE / ENCE     action, state, condition or quality

attend –attendance

accept –acceptance

prefer – preference

insure – insurance

refer – reference

exist –existence

-ATION / TION  action or resulting state

educate – education

inform – information

eliminate – elimination

declare – declaration

combine – combination

immigrate – immigration

-SION  action or resulting state 

confuse – confusion

decide – decision

divide –division

revise – revision

impress – impression

profess–profession

-URE   action or resulting state

depart – departure

erase – erasure

fail – failure

enclose – enclosure

press – pressure

legislate – legislature

-MENT  state, act, condition

agree– agreement

pay – payment

employ – employment

argue – argument

punish – punishment

govern – government

-AGE  action, state, process

break – breakage

post – postage

pack – package

pass – passage

bag– baggage

marry – marriage

-ING action, state, process

bless – blessing

land – landing

write – writing

feed – feeding

end –ending

seat – seating

-ERY location, collective, behavior condition

cream – creamery

slave (n.) – slavery

bake –bakery

brave (adj.) – bravery

brew – brewery

machine (n.) – machinery

Nominalization – the forming of words from other categories , verbs and nouns, by suffixation. (Huddleston 1706)
Pop-Q "The fix
    

 

 

 

Common Suffixes — adjectives to nouns

SUFFIX VERB – NOUN VERB – NOUN VERB – NOUN

-NESS state, quality, condition

happy – happiness

useful – usefulness

kind – kindness

truthful – truthfulness

 quiet – quietness

sleepy – sleepiness

-ITY  state or condition

active – activity

stupid – stupidity

curious – curiosity

mobile – mobility

real – reality

tranquil – tranquility

-ISM  state, practice 

ideal – idealism

colonial – colonialism

human – humanism

imperial – imperialism

conservative – conservatism

favorite – favoritism

-TH  condition 

wide – width

dead – death

long – length

foul – filth

born (v.) – birth

grow (v.) – growth

-Y  condition 

private – privacy

difficult – difficulty

honest – honesty

jealous – jealousy

modest – modesty

 

-TY  condition 

safe – safety

cruel – cruelty

certain – certainty

subtle – subtlety

loyal – loyalty

admiral (n.) – admiralty

 

 

 

Common Suffixes — nouns for people

SUFFIX NOUN – PERSONAL NOUN NOUN – PERSONAL NOUN NOUN – PERSONAL NOUN

-ANT / ENT person / instrument

attend– attendant

assist – assistant

inform – informant

correspond – correspondent

preside – president

reside – resident

-ARIAN  holders of a paricular doctrine

vegetable – vegetarian

discipline – disciplinarian

human – humanitarian

sect – sectarian

parliament – parliamentarian

-EE  person / instrument

appoint – appointee

trust – trustee

divorce – divorcée

license – licensee

refuge – refugee

pay – payee

-ER / OR  person who acts

teach– teacher

paint – painter

direct – director

manage – manager

employ – employer

govern – governor

-EER  person concerned with

engine –engineer

profit – profiteer

musket – museketeer

racket – racketeer

auction – auctioneer

mountain – mountaineer

-IST  person who practices 

ideal – idealist

colonial – colonialist

human – humanist

imperial – imperialist

left – leftist

extreme – extremist

-STER  person connected to

young – youngster

old – oldster

game – gamester

spin¹ – spinster

gang – gangster

mob – mobster

¹ used for a woman who has never married "a spinner of thread"
(Huddleston 19 5.7  Nominalizations)  (Swan 384-6)

 

 

Common Suffixes — nouns to nouns

SUFFIX NOUN – NOUN NOUN – NOUN NOUN – NOUN

-SHIP state, condition, skill, office, associated with

censor – censorship

partner – partnership

scholar – scholarship

dealer – dealership

workman – workmanship

apprentice – apprenticeship

-DOM  state, condition, dignity, office

star – stardom

fan – fandom

bore – boredom

wise – wisdom

free – freedom

king – kingdom

-HOOD  state, collective

brother – brotherhood

widow – widowhood

neighbor – neighborhood

child – childhood

live – livelihood

false – falsehood

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nouns

Verbs & Noun is Same Form

aircraft
 

 

Suffix vs. No Suffix

SUFFIX

A suffix normally marks a word as an adjective, verb, or noun. A suffix is placed at the end of the word.   (Affixation includes: prefix (before) pre-pare; infix (between) [rare in English]; and suffix (after) prepara-tion.

The airline will employ you. (v.)

You can be a new employee.  [-ee]  (n.)

NO SUFFIX

In other cases, the same form of the word is used for both the verb or the noun.  Below, the pairs of words belong to different parts of speech.  This is known as 'conversion' ,  'zero-affixation' or 'zero-derivation'.

The airline will hire you.  (v.)

You will be a new hire.   (n.)   

 

 

 

 

Verb and Noun — same form

VERB

The words below are verbs.

The pilots will attempt to take off together. 

The pilots will control their aircrafts. 

The aircraft will rise into the air. 

The aircraft will circle in the air.  (loop)

NOUN

The words below are nouns which are resulting states of the action of the verb.

The attempt was successful.  subj NP

The pilot's control was effective.  subj NP

The rise will be sharp.  subj NP

The path of the aircraft will form a circle. obj NP

 

SUBJ NP – subject noun phrase

 

 

 

Verb to Noun (primarily a verb)

arrest (v.) – arrest (n.)

attempt (v.) – attempt (n.)

bore (v.) – bore (n.)

cheat (v.) – cheat (n.)

coach (v.) – coach (n.)

cough  (v.) – cough (n.)

desire (v.) – desire (n.)

flirt (v.) – flirt (n.)

go (v.) – go (n.)

grin (v.) – grin (n.)

laugh (v.) – laugh (n.)

read (v.) – read (n.)

smile (v.) – smile (n.)

sneak (v.) – sneak (n.)

spy (v.) – spy (n.)

whisper (v.) – whisper (n.)

whistle (v.) – whistle (n.)

win (v.) – win (n.)

 

 

 

 

 

Noun to Verb (primarily a noun)

boss (v.) – boss (n.)

butcher (v.) – butcher (n.)

butter (v.) – butter (n.)

cash (v.) – cash (n.)

eye (v.) – go (n.)

finger (v.) – finger (n.)

fish (v.) – fish (n.)

gesture (v.) – gesture (n.)

knife (v.) – knife (n.)

knot (v.) – knot (n.)

motion (v.) – motion (n.)

nap (v.) – nap (n.)

panic (v.) – panic (n.)

parody (v.) – parody (n.)

parrot (v.) – parrot (n.)

queue (v.) – queue (n.) [Br-En]

ski (v.) – ski (n.)

skin (v.) – skin (n.)

water (v.) – water (n.)

zero (v.) – zero (n.)

(Huddleston 19 §3.1)

 

Stress Shift

acCENT (v.) – ACcent (n.)

conDUCT  (v.) – CONduct (n.)

conFLICT (v.) – CONflict (n.)

conTEST (v.) – CONtest (n.)

conVERT (v.) – CONvert (n.)

conVICT (v.) – CONvict (n.)

deCREASE (v.) – DEcrease (n.)

diGEST (v.) – DIgest (n.)

deCREASE (v.) – DEcrease (n.)

esCORT (v.) – EScort (n.)

exPORT (v.) – EXport (n.)

fragMENT (v.) – FRAGment (n.)

inSERT (v.) – INsert (n.)

inSULT (v.) – INsult (n.)

perMIT (v.) – PERmit (n.)

preSENT (v.) – PREsent (n.)

reCORD (v.) – REcord (n.)

reJECT (v.) – REject (n.)

transFER (v.) – TRANSfer (n.)

susPECT (v.) – SUSpect (n.)

(Huddleston 19 §2.6)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Commonly Confused

Noun vs. Gerund

 

 

 

A Noun vs. A Gerund

NOUN WORD FORM

A noun form may end in -ing. To test if it is a noun, put an article before it and/or a prepositional phrase after it.

NOUN PHRASE

The landing of the airplane was not difficult.

The passengers enjoyed the landing of the aircraft.

The taking off of the airplane was not difficult.  (departure)

GERUND WORD FORM

A gerund expresses the meaning of an activity. An article is not used before a gerund. 

GERUND CLAUSE

Landing the airplane was not difficult. (activity)

*The landing the airplane was not difficult.

The pilot enjoyed landing the airplane. 

The pilot enjoyed *the landing the airplane. 

Taking off was not difficult. (activity)

 

Also see Participle Modifiers 2 and Gerunds.

 

 

Nouns ending with -ing

advertise (v.) – advertising (n.)

airbrush (v.) – airbrushing (n.)

beat (v.) – beating (n.)

bless (v.) – blessing (n.)

board (v.) – boarding (n.)

bookmark (v.) – bookmarking (n.)

come (v.) – coming (n.)

dance (v.) – dancing (n.)

edge (v.) – edging (n.)

end (v.) – ending (n.)

feed (v.) – feeding (n.)

forget (v.) – forgetting (n.)

forward (v.) – forwarding (n.)

fund (v.) – funding (n.)

handwrite (v.) – handwriting (n.)

highlight (v.) – highlighting (n.)

make (v.) – making (n.)

market (v.) – marketing (n.)

open (v.) – opening (n.)

paint (v.) – painting (n.)

plant (v.) – planting (n.)

read (v.) – reading (n.)

seat (v.) – seating (n.)

understand (v.) – understanding (n.)

"deverbal nouns"  (Huddleston 19 5.7.2g)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Common Mistakes

Errors and Solutions

 

 

 

Focus and Solution

FOCUS

Using a verb form as a noun when a true noun form exists: 

~ What's the ask on that house?  

~ Let's see the reveal.

~Take a listen to this.

~ Do the reboot and call me later.

Using a noun form as a modifier when a true adjective exists:

~ The education research suggests that we need to improve in math.

SOLUTION

This trendy usage is probably occurring as shortened form in texting.

What is the asking price. / What is the question regarding that house.

Let's reveal the changes. / The revelation caused a protest.

Listen to this.  Take a look at this.

Reboot it and call me later. After rebooting, call me.

The educational research suggests that we need to improve in math.
The research in education suggests that we need to improve in math.

 

Note: In many cases a noun can modify another noun, however, if there is an adjective form for a word, use it.   
* Incorrect use / ~ Questionable use

lightbulbPop-Q – "The fix"

 

 

Resources

 

 

 

 

 

 

Practice 1

Air Travel

booking a flight
 

 

Read Context

International travel requires passing through airports and that can be challenging. Making a -reserve- is mostly done online nowadays.  The -seat- is first come, first served, so it is important to plan early.   On the day of your trip, you should plan an early -arrive- to the airport. You should be there at least two hours before the -depart- of an international flight. -Process- checking in can be very long. 

An agent will ask you to show your -identify-. A security agent will ask you a few -quest- about the contents of your baggage. Then they will permit your -enter- into the secure area of the airport. Another agent will announce the -board- of the aircraft. At that time, you will walk down a long -pass- to the door of the airplane.

content – what is inside of something (bag)

 

 

 

 

Select the noun form of the verb.

  1. Select the response from the list that best completes the sentence. 
  2. Compare your response to the feedback by clicking the "Check 1-10" button at the bottom, or click the "Check" button to the left  as you go.

 

1.

2.

3.

4.

5.

6.

7.

8.

9.

10.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Practice 2

Transportation in my City

City traffic
 

 

Read for Errors

Transportation in my country is very difficulty to use.  There are several buses, but they are always congestion with riding people.  The arrivings and departings are rarely on schedule. The taxis are no better because the pay for a trip is too high.  Most people have a prefer share a ride. The govenment regulations drivers. 

However, no one does inspections to see if they are following the regulations. Most people prefer the inter-city train ( tram) that connectors the neighborhoods of the city. The train attenders keep the train clean and safe. The other option is to walk and use local shopping and services.

attend (v.) –  be present, care for, watch over

congestion (n.) – overcrowding, excessive amount in a small place

connect (v.)  – join together, link

inspect (v.) – examine details

opt (v.) – choose, select

regulate (v..) – control by rule

 

 

Change the verbs to noun forms.

  1. Select a response correct or incorrect.
  2. Compare your response to the feedback by clicking the "Check 11-20" button at the bottom, or click the "Check" button to the left  as you go.

 

11.
Transportation in my country is very difficulty to use

     

12.
There are several buses, but they are always congestion with riding people. 

       

13.
The arrivings and departings are rarely on schedule. 

     

14.
The taxis are no better because the pay for a trip is too high.  

     

15.
Most people have a prefer share a ride. 

     

16.
The govenment regulations drivers. 

     

17.
However, no one does inspections to see if they are following the regulations. 

     

18.
Most people prefer the inter-city train that connectors the neighborhoods of the city. 

     

19.
The train attenders keep the train clean and safe. 

     

20.
The other option is to walk and use local shopping and services. 

     

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Practice 3

Focusing on the Action

Checking aircraft
 

 

Read Context

It is indispensable to supervise aircraft checks. ⇒

It is important to maintain an airplane.

It is necessary to inspect the engines.

It is desirable to employ good technicians.

It is essential to transport passengers safely.

It is dangerous for any part of the airplane to fail.

It is required to approve all work on the aircraft.

It is necessary to replace all worn parts.

It is logical to require safety updates.

The supervision of aircraft is indispensable. 

The…   is important.

The…   is necessary.

The…   is desirable.

The…   is essential.

The…   is dangerous.                           

The…   is required.                                

The…   is necessary.

The…   is logical.

 

 

 

 

Change the focus from the speaker's opinion to the action.

  1. Reword the sentence so that it begins with a noun clause not an it-clause.
  2. Compare your response to the feedback by clicking the "Check 21-30" button at the bottom, or click the "Check" button to the left  as you go.

 

21.
It is important to maintain an airplane.


22.
It is necessary to inspect the engines.


23.
It is desirable to employ good technicians.


24.
It is essential to transport passengers safely.


25.
It is dangerous for any part of the airplane to fail.


26.
It is required to approve all work on the aircraft.


27.
It is necessary to replace all worn parts.


28.
It is logical to require safety updates.


29.


30.