Word Building - Adjectives

We can create adjectives from nouns, verbs, or other adjectives using certain suffixes and prefixes.

1 The suffix -y is usually added to uncountable nouns meaning a material, e.g.:

  • Waxy
  • Mity
  • Sandy
  • Silky

2 The suffix-ly is added to words naming certain categories of people, and means something like "having a certain feature":

  • friend - friendly
  • father - fatherly
  • dead  - deadly
  • ghost - ghostly

This suffix is also used to create certain time expressions, e.g.:

  • day - daily
  • month - monthly

3 The suffix -like is added to nouns naming  people and animals and means "resembling or being in a similar state", e.g.:

  • God - Goldlike
  • Bark - barklike
  • Child - childlike
  • war - warlike

4 The suffix -ish has a similar meaning except that we use it to emphasize a negative feature, e.g.:

  • Child - childish
  • Fool  - foolish

The suffix is also used when describing colors' variety, e.g.:

  • red - reddish
  • blue - bluish
  • yellow - yellowish

5 The suffix -some is added to verbs and nouns to indicate having a given feature, e.g.:

  • to fear - fearsome
  • to quarrel - quarrelsome

6  The suffix -worthy is added to nouns and means "worth of something, suitable for something", e.g.:

  • praise - praiseworthy
  • trust - trustworthy

7 The suffixes -able and -ible are added to many noiuns and verbs and mean "being able to do something", e.g.:

  • avoid - avoidable
  • adorable
  • bearable
  • reasonable

Some suffixes make the whole word different:

  • eat - edible

9 The suffixed -ful ("having a given feature") and -less ("not having a given feature") are almost always created from nouns, e.g.:

  • beautiful
  • wishful
  • helpful
  • thankful
  • grateful
  • harmless
  • spotless
  • pointless

The adjectives are added other suffixes as well:

  • -ive
  • -ant
  • -ous
  • -ate
  • -ory
  • -esque

 

It's important to remember about  meaning difference between some adjectives with -ic and ical suffixes, e.g.:

economic -

econimical -

We create opposites of the adjectives by adding the negative prefixes such as: 

  • a-
  • anti-
  • dis-
  • il-
  • im-
  • in-
  • ir-
  • mal-
  • mis-
  • un-

 

  • social - antisocial
  • honest - dishonest
  • legible - illegible
  • mature - immature
  • acceptable - inacceptable
  • responsible - irresponsible
  • adjust - maladjusted
  • leading - misleading
  • happy - unhappy

The prefixes over- and under- can be added to adjectives and Past Participles, and mean "having too much of a given feature (over-)" and "having too little of a given feature (under-)"

  • fed - overfed
  • developed - underdeveloped
  • done - overdone - underdone
  • crowded - overcrowded

    I was asked a question if

    I was asked a question if there is any rule concerning adjectives and the prefixes: in.., un.., dis etc....
    I mean WHEN you use which......
    thank you