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Lesson 3.2a Analyzing Nouns

downloadable worksheet


Consider how these words can be broken down into smaller parts; the suffix attaches to one kind of word to make a new kind of word:


run + er = runner

Verb + er = Noun


frisky + ness = friskiness

Adjective + ness = Noun


(Notice the spelling changes here that occur when you attach the suffix.)


So if you think of other words that have the -er suffix, you can determine that -er will always attach to verbs (V) to make nouns (N). And -ness will always attach to adjectives (A) to make Ns. What is the meaning of these suffixes? What does -er mean here? And -ness? How do you know? (And there’s another –er as in bigger, stronger, faster. How is that -er different?)


All of these pieces (morphemes) have meanings of their own even though they aren’t words.


Now consider the following words and break them into their meaningful units.


            freedom, happiness, wreckage, runner, probability


Then, for each suffix that you identify, come up with at least two other nouns that have that suffix. (You might notice that for some of the examples, the spelling of the root word changes when the suffix is added, as with runner and happiness. If that’s the case, just spell the word as it is spelled when it stands alone.)


Also, discuss together the meaning of the suffix and how it changes the meaning of the word it attaches to. Does it have that same meaning for all of the words it attaches to?


[Teacher Notes:

probability = probabil + ity (probable)

freedom = free + dom

happiness = happi (happy) + ness

wreckage = wreck + age

runner = runn (run) + er ]


key words: parts of speech, noun, affix, suffix morphology, syntax, spelling


CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.3.1a Explain the function of nouns, pronouns, verbs, adjectives, and adverbs in general and their functions in particular sentences. 

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.3.2e Use conventional spelling for high-frequency and other studied words and for adding suffixes to base words (e.g., sitting, smiled, cries, happiness).

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.3.4b Determine the meaning of the new word formed when a known affix is added to a known word (e.g., agreeable/disagreeable, comfortable/uncomfortable, care/careless, heat/preheat). 


Here is this lesson as a pdf.

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