Language tip of the week: happy

Posted by on April 05, 2012

In this weekly post, we bring more useful content from the Macmillan Dictionary to English language learners. These tips are based on areas of English (e.g. spelling, grammar, collocation, synonyms, etc) which learners often find difficult.

This week’s language tip helps with the spelling of nouns whose related adjective ends in ‘y’.

Although the adjective happy ends in the letter ‘y’, the related noun happiness is spelled with an ‘i’ (not a ‘y’):

✗ Health, love, and happyness are what everyone looks for in their life.
✓ Health, love, and happiness are what everyone looks for in their life.

For most other adjectives ending in ‘y’, the same rule applies:

adjective

related noun

empty

emptiness

lazy

laziness

lonely

loneliness

tidy

tidiness

ugly

ugliness

More language tips

Browse the list under the ‘language tips‘ tag here on the blog for more useful language tips.

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