sábado, 7 de abril de 2012

WORD FORMATION - SUFFIXES: FULL / LESS

WORD FORMATION: create adjectives from nouns and verbs by adding the suffixes -ful and -less

The suffix -ful has been derived from the English word "full" and the literal meaning is "full of". Some meanings are can be a little more abstract and it may be harder to understand the meaning the first time you meet these words. For example the suffix -ful can also mean "characterised by or given, able or tending to be something".

NOTE: the suffix -ful is written with only one 'l'.
·                Bill is hopeful of receiving a job offer. - Literally "Bob is full of hope".
·                Mary brought in an armful of washing. - Literally "Mary's arm are full".
·                We ate a wonderful meal in the new Japanese restaurant. - "Full of wonder" is not the right meaning here. 'Excellent' is a better translation.

The suffix -less has been derived from the English word "less" and the literal meaning is "without" or "lacking". Some meanings are more abstract. For example the suffix -less can mean "unable to act or be acted on in a specified way".
·                The liquid produced in the reaction is colourless. - Literally "without colour".
·                His addiction ruined his life. He lost everything and eventually became homeless. - Literally "without a home".
·                Susan really hurt Tony's feeling with that comment. She can be so thoughtless sometimes. - Literally "without a thought", although better translated as "inconsiderate".

Often the suffices -ful and -less and be found in pairs:

·                thought — thoughtful : thoughtless
·                help — helpful : helpless
·                law — lawful : lawless

However there are many case when the adjective ending in -ful does not have the corresponding adjective ending in -less and vice versa

·                sleep — sleepful : sleepless
·                beauty — beautiful : beautiless

NOTE: it is more common for the adjective ending in -less not to have the corresponding adjective ending in -ful.

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