I want to know if we have a suffix which can be added to an adverb to form a noun. I have searched about that and I could not find anything about it.

  • 1
    I can't think of any, exactly. For a -ly adverb, you can generally just take the corresponding adjective and use the basic suffix for turning adjectives to nouns, -ness. So "My computer is updating slowly today" --> "the slowness of my computer when updating today." Is that the sort of thing you were thinking of? What type of noun do you want to form?
    – herisson
    Nov 6, 2015 at 7:24
  • 1
    English is almost entirely need-, convenience- and affection-driven rather than neat-little-rule–driven. Productivity is to a greater or lesser degree idiosyncratic. Nov 6, 2015 at 10:14

2 Answers 2


I would say No, there is no suffix which can be added to an adverb to form a noun.

There is the noun-forming suffix -ness which can be added to many adjectives: hard/hardness, red/redness, etc, but it doesn't apply to all (strongness is strength) and it doesn't apply to adverbs.

Even where fast might be an adverb meaning quickly (as opposed to an adjective meaning solidly attached) the noun would be speed. For an adverb like beautifully, the noun is beauty. For an adverb like quickly, you might get away with quickness, (where you replace -ly with the nouning suffix -ness), but generally there is a more specific non-derived word to use, like speed or rapidity.


The suffix '-ness' is defined in the OED as forming abstract nouns from adverbs:

Forming abstract nouns from adjectives, participles, adjectival phrases, and (more rarely) nouns, pronouns, verbs, and adverbs.

["-ness, suffix". OED Online. September 2015. Oxford University Press. http://www.oed.com/view/Entry/126245?rskey=ibqMh4&result=4&isAdvanced=false (accessed November 06, 2015). Emphasis mine.]

The OED lexicographers do not example the particular case of nouns formed from adverbs in the historical quotes, but rather content themselves there by showing some of the nonce-uses attested since 1800. Such uses presumably include adverb-to-noun formations, because the suffix is used freely to form nouns; however, in all cases where an adverb has a corresponding adjectival form or sense, the adjective seems to be selected by preference as the noun-formative base.

Also, although perhaps it is a slantwise formation process, I found some evidence indicating that nouns are formed from the adverbs in verbal phrases (that is, verb+adverb):

Noun suffixes will form nouns from every type of word.
-er = object, agency or means performing the task of: fixer-upper, do-gooder; added to: verbal phrases (verb+adverb) ....

(From "Word formation process".)

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.