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    #1

    Exclamation ful and less adjectives

    Is there any rule to write or not write ful & less adjectives?

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    #2

    Re: ful and less adjectives

    I am not sure exactly what you mean- do you mean where there is only one form?

  1. Raymott's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: ful and less adjectives

    Quote Originally Posted by THEWINNER View Post
    Is there any rule to write or not write ful & less adjectives?
    I think you are asking whether there is any rule that tells you when you can add them to a noun to make an adjective.
    No, there isn't, that I know of.
    You can't say, for example, that a person here who has lots of answers is an "answerful" person. And there's no rule about why you can't say that.
    It's possible to coin words (usually with -less) if that word stem has been used, but it usually has a comical effect.

    A: Do you have any books? I need something to read.
    B: No, I'm completely bookless at the moment. (Not advised!)

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    #4

    Re: ful and less adjectives

    ...The last sentence would justify the coining of 'answerful', for comic effect.

    One thing to be aware of is that the suffix doesn't always have the same meaning. A 'hopeful' person may be said to be full of hope (but even here I have my doubts, as the 'fullness' is only for one thing - not a general optimism); but a useful knife isn't full of use - unless it's a http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Swiss_Army_knife: and a fretful baby is not full of fret (which isn't even a noun, nowadays - although in some dialects people still use the expression 'in a fret' to mean 'disturbed')... And as for a wistful or baleful glance, all bets are off!

    Similarly, a motherless child has no mother; but a fruitless exercise has nothing to do with fruit; a wireless router doesn't have no wires (the connections it can make don't use wires, which is not the same) ....

    b

    PS Informally, 'needful' can be used to mean 'that which is needed' - it doesn't mean 'full of need', for which there is the word 'needy'. This usage seems to me to be dying out, but older people may still talk about 'doing the needful'.
    Last edited by BobK; 18-Jun-2011 at 12:46. Reason: PS Added

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