Derived nouns and composition

In this activity we will look at suffixes that can change adjectives and verbs into nouns.

Goals

  • Practise changing adjectives and verbs into nouns using certain suffixes. This process is called derivation.
  • Identify the patterns and restrictions on using suffixes to change verbs and adjectives into nouns.
  • Discuss how nouns derived from verbs and adjectives behave differently in sentences from nouns and adjectives.

Lesson Plan

The teacher explains that today, we will practise turning adjectives and verbs into nouns in order to communicate meanings in new ways. We will look at sentences with verbs and adjectives, and then we will change those verbs and adjectives into nouns in order to present the same meaning in a new way.

Using derived nouns gives us a different way to express meanings. For example, instead of using two sentences as in (1), we could use just one sentence as in (2):

  • Anna was late. It annoyed me.
  • Anna’s lateness annoyed me.

In the first example above, we have the adjective late, while in the second, we have the derived noun lateness, which allows us to package the information into one sentence.

The Activity pages appear in the menu entitled 'This Unit' in the upper right corner of this page. The Activity pages contain slides that can be displayed on a projector or smart board. The first Activity provides examples of nouns derived from adjectives. The first slides are shown here. Students can address them as a whole class, in pairs, or on their own. They should see if they can fill the gaps in the examples below with nouns which are derived from the highlighted adjectives. Clicking on the Answer button in the slide will reveal the answer.

  • Jeff is shy. I didn’t notice this until the party. → I didn’t notice Jeff’s — until the party.
  • You were generous. I appreciated it. → I appreciated your —.
  • They gave us a warm welcome. It made us feel at home. → The — of their welcome made us feel at home.
  • He was honest about the mistakes he had made. I admired this. → I admired his — about the mistakes he had made.

Then, in the next slides in Activity 1, students are asked to write their own sentences. As before, each time two sentences are presented. For each pair of sentences, their task is to write a single sentence to express a similar meaning, using a noun derived from the highlighted adjective(s). Clicking the Answer button will reveal one possible new sentence. Students may come up with alternatives as well!

  • They were kind to me. I thanked them for it.
  • This band is popular. I can’t understand it.
  • Getting through the crowd was difficult. This led to a considerable delay.
  • Tina’s work is extremely thorough. Everyone is impressed by this.
  • The teacher praised the screenplay we wrote.  She said it was original.

Activity 2 presents nouns derived from verbs. For example, instead of using the two sentences in the first example below, we could express our meaning in one sentence as in the second example below:

  • The peacekeeping forces withdrew. It led to civil war.
  • The withdrawal of the peacekeeping forces led to civil war.

The first slides in Activity 2 present verbs in example sentences. Again, students should try to fill the gaps in the examples with nouns which are derived from the highlighted verbs. Clicking on the Answer button in the slide will reveal the answer.

  • The judge accepted the bribe. This caused an outrage. →  The judge’s — of the bribe caused an outrage.
  • The critic assessed their work unfavourably. They were disappointed by this. →  They were disappointed by the critic’s unfavourable — of their work.
  • The railways were privatised. Many people thought that this was a serious mistake. →  Many people thought that the — of the railways was a serious mistake.
  • He constantly intimidates his staff. There is no excuse for it. → There is no excuse for his constant — of his staff.

Then, in the next slides, students can try to write their own sentences. For each example, they should rewrite the two sentences as a single sentence which expresses a similar meaning, using a noun derived from the highlighted verb. Clicking the Answer button will reveal one possible new sentence. Students may come up with alternatives as well!

  • He refused the prize. This embarrassed the committee.
  • My boss constantly interferes with my work. I can’t tolerate it.
  • The management rejected our proposal. This was terribly frustrating.
  • The rainforests are being destroyed. We must take action to prevent this.
  • The water quality has improved. This has saved many lives.

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