English Grammar: Adjectives Ending in -FUL or -LESS

Most adjectives which end in -ful make the negative with -less. But, not all ...


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Most adjectives which end in -ful make the negative with -less. But, not all.

The Words Use -FUL & -LESS to Make the Adjectives

1. care

– careful: trying very hard to avoid mistakes, accidents

– careless: not paying enough attention

2. harm

– harmful: causing harm

– harmless: not causing harm

3. help

– helpful: providing useful help

– helpless: unable to look after or help yourself

4. hope

– hopeful: believing that what you hope for is likely to happen

– hopeless: without hope

5. pain

– painful: if a part of your body is painful, it hurts

– painless: causing no pain

6. power

– powerful: having a lot of power or strength

– powerless: not having power

7. thought

– thoughtful: always thinking of the things you can do

– thoughtless: not thinking about the needs and feelings of other people

8. use

– useful: helping you to do or get what you want

– useless: not useful or effective in any way

9. taste

– tasteful: made, decorated, or chosen with good taste

– tasteless: food or drink that is tasteless is unpleasant

10. fear

– fearful: frightened that something bad might happen

– fearless: not afraid of anything

11. colour

– colourful: having bright colours or a lot of different colours

– colourless: having no colour

12. meaning

– meaningful: having a meaning that is easy to understand and makes sense

– meaningless: having no purpose or importance

The Adjectives Take -FUL & -LESS, but not Both

1. awful (/ awesome) –  very bad or unpleasant

2. brainless (unintelligent) – completely stupid

3. countless (/ countable) – too many to be counted

4. dreadful – extremely unpleasant

5. endless – something that is endless seems to continue forever

6. homeless – without a home

7. peaceful –  peaceful time, place, or situation is quiet and calm without any worry or excitement

8. playful – very active, happy, and wanting to have fun

9. priceless – extremely valuable

10. successful (/ unsuccessful) – achieving what you wanted, or having the effect or result you intended

11. timeless – remaining attractive and not becoming old-fashioned

12. wireless – relating to a system of communications that does not use electrical or telephone wires

13. worthless – having no value

14. grateful –  feeling that you want to thank someone

15. skillful – good at doing something


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