15.5 Word Families

In section 15.4, one sees how many adjectives and nouns can be made into verbs. It also stands true that many adjectives can be made into nouns. The common suffixes attached to adjectives are –ura and –ez (or –eza). These suffixes tend to refer to abstract ideas and correspond to English endings such as “-ness,” “-ship,” or “-ity”:

blanco white
blancuzco whitish
blancura whiteness
emblanquecerse to become white

Other adjective-to-noun examples include:

loco crazy
locura craziness
viejo old
vejez old age, oldness

Many of the nouns ending in –ura have masculine variants ending in –or (amargorblancorverdor), which are less common and essentially synonymous, though some parts of the Spanish-speaking world differentiate between the two, using the –ura form for the figurative and the –or form for the literal. Context should make it clear which one is indicated.

Vocabulario básico 


transcurrir- to happen, to take place


la amargura- bitterness
la dulzura- sweetness
la flaqueza- thinness, weakness
la gordura- fatness; fat, grease
la niñez- childhood
la pureza- purity
la sencillez- simplicity
la ternura- tenderness
la tristeza- sadness
la verdura- greenness; vegetable


amargo- bitter
ameno- pleasant, agreeable
dulce- sweet

Last revised on June 28, 2021.