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  1. #1
    elenah is offline Junior Member
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    Post suffix - 'ance'

    Hello,
    Could you please help me?
    There are some rules for making nouns like this one:
    -ant
    Significant
    distant
    ignorant
    important
    -ance
    Significance
    distance
    ignorance
    importance

    Can you tell me why all the verbs below when transformed into nouns have the same suffix? The endings of the verbs are different. Is there a rule I don't know about? Or are they exceptions?

    enter /ˈen.tər/ entrance/ˈen.trəns/
    appear appearance
    annoy annoyance
    perform performance
    maintain maintenance


    Thank you in advance

  2. #2
    jutfrank's Avatar
    jutfrank is offline VIP Member
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    Re: suffix - 'ance'

    The suffix -ance (sometimes -ence) when used to make abstract nouns basically carries the meaning of being in a state of, or having a quality of. This meaning is reasonably clear in the words you give at the beginning of your post. If the adjective forms describe qualities, then the noun forms refer to the state of having those qualities.

    With the forms derived from verbs, the meaning is more to do with an action (of entering, of appearing, etc) than a state or quality of being.

    This suffix came into English through Old French a long time ago. Unfortunately, there aren't any easy rules to help you know with which words this suffix can be used.

  3. #3
    bubbha is offline Senior Member
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    Re: suffix - 'ance'

    Regarding the -ence words, we have, among many others:

    magnificent, magnificence
    beneficent, beneficence
    sentient, sentience
    patient, patience
    NOT A TEACHER. Translator and editor, and I hold a TESOL certificate. Native speaker of American English (West Coast)

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