The Suffix -ANCE (52 Real Examples, Video, Free PDF)

Writing blog posts that are the most helpful for English learners is a combination of experience and research. This post will answer any questions you have about how to use the suffix -ANCE. (And the suffix -ENCE. which it can be confused with.)

The suffix -ANCE is used to create nouns to mean the action or state of.
New nouns will be made from verbs: assist + ANCE = assistance (The act of assisting)
or from adjectives ending in -ANT: brilliant + ANCE = brilliance (The state of being brilliant)

Find new words and definitions with example sentences. Real examples to help you use these words right away. Plus you will find a helpful video and a free PDF download.

Suffix ANCE- Meaning 

-ance suffix (in nouns) the action or state of
Example: performance (The action of performing)
“I won the match but I wasn’t happy with my performance.”

ance suffix – OxfordLearnersDictionaries.com 

Suffix Word Origin
From Middle English -aunce, -ance, from Anglo-Norman -aunce and continental Old French -ance, from Latin -antia, -entia. SOURCE

How do you use the suffix -ANCE?

Here are some simple guidelines for using the suffix -ANCE. 

Adjectives ending in -ANT to Nouns
Just replace the final -ANT with -ANCE.
abundant – abundance – a large quantity that is more than enough
brilliant – brilliance – the quality of being extremely impressive, intelligent or skillful
important – importance – the quality of being important
Verbs to Nouns
Nouns that end in EAR will just add the suffix -ANCE.
clear – clearance – the process of removing things that are not wanted
Nouns that end in URE will drop the final E before adding the suffix -ANCE.
assure – assurance – a statement that something will certainly be true or will certainly happen
For most other verbs we just add the suffix -ANCE to the end of the word (with a few exceptions.)
assist – assistance – help or support
The final letter Y will change to an I before adding -ANCE.
rely – reliance – the fact of being able to rely on somebody/something

You will find exceptions to these VERB rules in the vocabulary lists below. 

The Suffixes -ANCE vs -ENCE

The suffixes -ANCE and -ENCE mean the same thing. They are both used to make nouns that mean the action or state of.

-ence suffix (in nouns) – the action or state of
Example: confidence (The state of being confident)
“In a job interview, you want to show confidence but also be careful not to appear arrogant.”

Here’s the key difference:
The suffix -ANCE is added to adjectives that end with -ANT. 

Brilliant becomes brilliance.

The suffix -ENCE is added to adjectives that end with -ENT.

Confident becomes confidence.

Suffix Origin
The suffix -ENCE also comes from Middle English, Old French, and Latin.
From Middle English -ence, from Old French -ence, from Latin -entia. Compare Old English -ende, -endu (“-ing, -ence”). SOURCE

Words with the Suffix -ANCE (Definitions and Examples)

Nouns From Adjectives Ending with -ANT

Just replace the final -ANT with -ANCE.

abundant – abundance – a large quantity that is more than enough

  • Many people are surprised to learn that Canada has an abundance of oil, and produces more than 50% of the oil sold in America. 

*We can add the prefix OVER to make the noun overabundance which means a large surplus: excess

  • The company found it had an overabundance of qualified applicants who wanted the job.

Understand this prefix in detail here: Your #1 Guide to using Over and Under as Prefixes (free PDF)

arrogant – arrogance – the behavior of a person when they feel that they are more important than other people, so that they are rude to them or do not consider them

  • Confidence is a great quality to have, but arrogance is not. 

brilliant – brilliance – the quality of being extremely impressive, intelligent or skillful

In the NEWS

Messi’s brilliance sends Argentina through to the World Cup final

clairvoyant – clairvoyance – the power that some people claim to have to be able to see future events or to communicate with people who are dead or far away

  • The psychic claimed to possess clairvoyance but when he was tested under proper conditions he failed to predict anything specific. 

elegant – elegance – ​the quality of being attractive and showing a good sense of style

  • The actress looked stunning on the red carpet. She wore a stunning black dress with casual elegance

extravagant – extravagance – the act or habit of spending more money than you can afford or than is necessary

  • Extravagance is often a symptom of someone feeling like they’re not special. 

distant – distance – the amount of space between two places or things

  • The beach is within walking distance of my house. I often see people carrying surfboards on the sidewalk. 

flamboyant – flamboyance – the fact of being different, confident and exciting in a way that attracts attention

  • The singer was known for his powerful voice and his flamboyance. He always wore flashy clothes on stage.

fragrant – fragrance – a liquid that you put on your skin in order to make yourself smell nice

  • The fashion company is having a huge event this Saturday to release its new fragrance

ignorant – ignorance – a lack of knowledge or information about something

  • Prejudice and ignorance often go hand in hand.

important – importance – the quality of being important

  • The final exam is worth 65% of your total grade. I can’t stress the importance of this test enough! Make sure you study hard. 

instant – instance – a particular example or case of something

  • The teacher noticed several instances of students sleeping in class. 

radiant – radiance – a special bright quality that shows in somebody’s face, for example because they are very happy or healthy

  • The radiance of her smile puts everyone who talks to her at ease.

relevant – relevance – a close connection with the subject you are discussing or the situation you are in

  • Some people feel that the Royal Family has lost its relevance in these modern times. 

*We can add the prefix IR to make the noun irrelevance which means lack of importance to or connection with a situation 

  • Experts fear that cryptocurrency is nearing irrelevance. (It will not be important very soon.)

Understand the prefix IR in detail here: 9 Common Negative Prefixes (200 examples, Free PDF, Video)

reluctant – reluctance – the feeling of being unwilling to do something and hesitating before you do it, because you do not want to do it or because you are not sure that it is the right thing to do

  • Are you sure you want to help me with this big project? I’m feeling some reluctance from you.

significant – significance – the importance of something, especially when this has an effect on what happens in the future

  • The significance of the test results was not lost on him. He knew what it meant. 

*We can add the prefix IN to make the noun insignificance which means the fact of not being big or valuable enough to be considered important

  • We all have to deal with feelings of insignificance at some point in our lives. 

Understand the negative prefix IN here: 9 Common Negative Prefixes (200 examples, Free PDF, Video)

tolerant – tolerance – the quality of being willing to accept or tolerate somebody/something, especially opinions or behavior that you may not agree with, or people who are not like you

  • Countries that are free and open usually have more religious tolerance. People can practice any religion they like. 

*We can add the prefix IN to make the noun intolerance which means  the fact of not being willing to accept ideas or ways of behaving that are different from your own

  • Problems of intolerance can usually be resolved by calm discussion. 

vigilant – vigilance – great care that is taken to notice any signs of danger or trouble

  • Stopping the spread of the virus will take vigilance from everyone. 

Nouns From Verbs Ending with -EAR -URE 

Nouns that end in EAR will just add the suffix -ANCE.
Nouns that end in URE will drop the final E before adding the suffix -ANCE.

appear – appearance – the way that somebody/something looks on the outside; what somebody/something seems to be

  • Don’t let Mindy’s appearance fool you, she can hurt you! She’s a black belt in Taekwondo. 

*We can add the prefix NON to make the noun non-appearance which means failure to be in a place where people expect to see you

  • The judge noted the defendant’s non-appearance in court and ruled on behalf of the plaintiff.

Understand this prefix in detail here: No None and Non – Learn the difference (50 examples + PDF)

*We can add the prefix RE to make the noun reappearance which means the act of appearing again after not being heard of or seen for a period of time

  • Madison’s sudden reappearance shocked everyone. 

Understand this prefix RE in detail here: The Prefix RE – 60 examples (Meaning – Free PDF – Video)

assure – assurance – a statement that something will certainly be true or will certainly happen, particularly when there has been doubt about it

  • No one will be forced to work overtime this week, the boss gave me his assurance

*We can add the prefix RE to make the noun reassurance which means the fact of giving advice or help that takes away a person’s fears or doubts

  • He left for Europe giving her reassurance that he would return and they will soon be together again. 

clear – clearance – the process of removing things that are not wanted

  • We bought a new TV at a super low price. The electronics store near my house had a big clearance sale last week. 

disappear – disappearance – the fact of being lost or impossible to find

  • Police are investigating the disappearance of a university student from the park yesterday. 

endure – endurance – the ability to continue doing something painful or difficult for a long period of time without giving up

  • You need to have great endurance to compete in a triathlon. I respect anyone who competes in those events.

insure – insurance – an arrangement with a company in which you pay them regular amounts of money and they agree to pay the costs, for example, if you die or are ill, or if you lose or damage something

  • Owning a car can be expensive when you add up the cost of gas, maintenance, and insurance

Nouns From Other Verbs

For most other verbs we just add the suffix -ANCE to the end of the word with a few exceptions.
For verbs ending in the letter e, the e will be dropped before adding -ANCE.
Verbs like admit and rid will double the last consonant before adding -ANCE.

accept – acceptance – the act of accepting a gift, an invitation, an offer, etc.

  • The actor thanked his family for their support and his agent in his acceptance speech. 

acquaint – acquaintance – a person that you know but who is not a close friend

  • Jeremy is an acquaintance from work but we don’t spend time together outside of the office. 

admit – admittance – the right to enter or the act of entering a building, an institution, etc.

  • Without a proper passport, he was denied admittance into the country. 

allow – allowance – ① the amount of something that is allowed in a particular situation

  • A person’s recommended daily allowance of sodium changes depending on their age.

② an amount of money that is given to somebody regularly or for a particular purpose

  • I give my son an allowance of $5 per week. He thinks that it’s too low. 

assist – assistance – help or support

  • Devon qualified for financial assistance to help pay for his University tuition. 

attend – attendance – the act of being present at a place, for example at school

  • I liked my professor and always attended his lectures, even if attendance wasn’t necessary for class credit. 

avoid – avoidance – not doing something; preventing something from existing or happening

  • Self-driving cars are looking to improve their collision avoidance technology.

disturb – disturbance – actions that make you stop what you are doing, or that upset the normal state that something is in; the act of disturbing somebody/something or the fact of being disturbed

  • The park wants to reduce the disturbance of the wildlife living there. They limit the number of daily visitors. 

dominate – dominance – the fact of being more important, powerful or easy to notice than somebody/something else

  • From the opening kickoff the home team asserted its dominance

enter – entrance – a door, gate, passage, etc. used for entering a room, building or place

  • In Japan, no one wears their shoes inside the house. Outside shoes are left at the entrance

guide – guidance – help or advice that is given to somebody, especially by somebody older or with more experience

  • My high school had several guidance counselors who helped students faced with important decisions. 

govern – governance – the activity of governing a country or controlling a company or an organization; the way in which a country is governed or a company or institution is controlled

  • Good governance is the key ingredient to improving a country’s development and status in the world. 

hinder – hindrance – a person or thing that makes it more difficult for somebody to do something or for something to happen

  • The new rules are less of a help and more of a hindrance

inherit – inheritance – the money, property, etc. that you receive from somebody when they die; the fact of receiving something when somebody dies

  • Kevin used the inheritance he got from his grandfather to help start his business. 

maintain – maintenance – the act of keeping something in good condition by checking or repairing it regularly

  • Regular maintenance can double the lifespan of your car. 

observe – observance – the practice of obeying a law, celebrating a festival or behaving according to a particular custom

  • My friend’s family was very religious and always followed a strict observance of the religious holidays. 

*We can add the prefix NON to make the noun non-observance which means ​the failure to keep or to obey a rule, custom, etc.

  • Residents of Saskatchewan support the province’s non-observance of daylight savings time. This is the only province in Canada to not change its clocks in Spring and Autumn.

persevere – perseverance – the quality of continuing to try to achieve a particular aim despite difficulties

  • These were difficult times but the community showed great perseverance

perform – performance – how well or badly you do something; how well or badly something works

  • I won the match but I wasn’t happy with my performance.

remember – remembrance – the act or process of remembering an event in the past or a person who is dead

  • In Canada, Remembrance Day is November 11th. It’s the day to honor and remember armed forces members who have died in the line of duty. 

remit – remittance – a sum of money that is sent to somebody in order to pay for something

  • Remittance is now possible via bitcoin.

resemble – resemblance – the fact of being or looking similar to somebody/something

  • Rebecca bears a striking resemblance to her mother. 

resist – resistance – the act of using force to oppose somebody/something

  • The police were met with strong resistance from the angry protesters.

rid – riddance – Used with the adjective GOOD – good riddance (to somebody/something) – an  – unkind way of saying that you are pleased that somebody/something has gone

  • George has finally left the company and I say good riddance. I never liked that guy. 

surveil – surveillance – the act of carefully watching a person suspected of a crime or a place where a crime may be committed

  • The police suspected that drugs were being sold from the house. It was kept under constant surveillance

Verbs that end in -Y

The letter Y will change to an I before adding -ANCE. (Annoyance is an exception. The Y does not change to make this noun.)

annoy – annoyance – the feeling of being slightly angry

  • The students sensed their teacher’s annoyance, so they remained quiet for the rest of the class. 

comply – compliance – the practice of obeying rules or requests made by people in authority

  • The company rules must be followed at all times. Our corporate headquarters expect compliance from all staff members. 

*We can add the prefix NON to make the noun non-compliance which means the fact of failing or refusing to obey a rule

  • The warehouse received a strict fine for non-compliance with fire safety regulations. 

defy – defiance – the act of openly refusing to obey somebody/something

  • Holding up a blank sheet of paper has become the latest act of defiance among protesters in China. 

rely – reliance – the state of needing somebody/something in order to survive, be successful, etc.; the fact of being able to rely on somebody/something

  • Having a wide range of investments is important, too much reliance on one sector or one company can be dangerous.

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