Chocolate Grammarchips (#3)

 This month our chocolate grammar tip explains the great “NESS”  

  angry       sad       happy        bored      great      ..  awkwardness    . .    .   sadness      . . .          happiness      . . .           weariness       . . .           greatness 



*NESS* turns an adjective into a noun. It describes a feeling or a quality. 




When you see “ness” on the end of a word, the word is a noun [a name] that describes a feeling (happiness) or a quality (calmness).  But you can’t add “ness” to just any word. For example, there are no such words as grammarness, Googleness, youness or meness.

     To make a noun that describes a feeling or a quality, you must begin with an
adjective:  a kind man, a quiet place, a soft pillow. If you add “ness” to most adjectives, you will have a noun, the name, for the feeling   or quality: kindness, quietness, softness.    

     Now look at the short story below. First find all the nouns that end with “ness” and then the adjectives that made the nouns.


ONCE there lived a chicken named Henrietta. Her husband’s name was Hooter. They lived in a barn full of cows, sheep, goats, spiders and mice.  “If only,” said Henrietta, “I could lay my eggs in peace and quiet!”  As soon as Henrietta’s eggs popped out, they lost all their joy.  Their little egg faces filled with sadness at the thought of living in such a noisy, smelly barn. Every night in the darkness Henrietta cried. “Soon it will be morning,” she sighed, “and I will lay more sad, bad eggs.” This made it very hard for Hooter to sleep. And so he told Henrietta he would talk to the farmer. 

     When Hooter arrived at the farmer’s front door, the farmer greeted Hooter with special politeness, for Hooter was his favorite rooster.  “Good morning, Hooter!  How’s life in the barn?  How are all the wives?  Is anything wrong?”  

     Hooter answered with equal kindness, “I’m very sorry to bother you, Farmer, but my wife Henrietta says it’s very hard to lay good eggs in such a noisy barn.”  

     The farmer’s face lost all its cheerfulness. “I’ve told those cows 100 times to stop ‘mooing’ when Henrietta is trying to lay eggs!  Such forgetfulness!  It’s terrible.  And those sheep!  Even
I’m tired of all the noise they make!  What rudeness!  But don’t you worry, Hooter!  I’ll take care of this right away.”  When Hooter left he was full of hopefulness.  

     That night the farmer came into the barn with his arms full of soft sheep wool. “Henrietta, I’ll teach those sheep to make so much noise. Look, I sheared them all [cut off their wool]!”  Soon he made a soft nest for Henrietta to lay her eggs on. Henrietta sat down on her new nest in complete contentedness. Then the farmer covered the walls of her hen house with the wool so she wouldn’t hear all the other animals.  Finally, he filled all the holes in the barn so the mice couldn’t stare at her. Henrietta thanked the farmer for his helpfulness.   

     Everything went well for three days. But on the fourth day Henrietta started to cry again.  “What’s wrong now?” asked Hooter flapping his wings in frustration [feeling upset].  Henrietta said, “Oh, Hooter!  It’s too quiet!  I’ve never known such loneliness!”  Hooter looked at Henrietta, flapped his wings and left. 

     “Enough of this madness!” he said.  “I’ve had it with hens!”  After that Hooter lived, in much happiness, on the top of the farmer’s house. 


List of adjectives as they appear in the story:  sad, dark, polite, kind, cheerful, forgetful, rude, hopeful, contented, helpful, kind, lonely, mad, happy.  

 ©InterestEng. July 2013  §  The stories in the magazine portion of the site are written by English language learners. Stories are corrected by a native English speaker.  § Photos are staff or used with permission.  §  To contact us: