Do nouns ending in "-ity" in English change to "-idad" or "-idez" in Spanish?
Most English nouns that end in -ity seem to have -idad endings in Spanish. But "stupidity" is "estupidez". Is there a reason? And are there other Spanish nouns that end that way?
Hi Doogaloop, I'm not sure if there is a formal rule or reason as to why "-ity" words end differently, but I can think of another example off the top of my head. "Clarity" is "nitidez". Remember that our translator/dictionary super-search box in the upper-right hand corner can always answer this question for you.
You'd be better served trying to understand Spanish patterns from the perspective of the Spanish language, not that of the English. Here are RAE's definitions of the two suffixes:
(Del lat. -tas, -ātis).
- suf. Significa 'cualidad' en sustantivos abstractos derivados de adjetivos. Si el adjetivo base es bisílabo, suele tomar la forma -edad. Mocedad, cortedad, terquedad. También la toman los adjetivos terminados en -io. Suciedad, obligatoriedad, precariedad. Si el adjetivo es de más de dos sílabas, toma, en general, la forma -idad. Barbaridad, afectuosidad, efectividad. La forma -dad aparece solo detrás de l o n. Liviandad, maldad, ruindad. Cuando -dad se aplica a adjetivos verbales en -ble, se forman derivados terminados en -bilidad. Culpabilidad.
- suf. En sustantivos abstractos femeninos, designa la cualidad expresada por el adjetivo del que deriva. Altivez, brillantez, lucidez.
Along these definitions, it looks like "-dad" is the more commonly used suffix. I'm having trouble coming up with a pattern, if there even exists one, as to when an adjective takes "-dad" and when one takes "-ez."
EDIT: This isn't a hard and fast rule, but it looks like adjectives that end with a "d" and then a vowel usually take the "-ez" suffix, possibly because "vowel-d-idad" is difficult to pronounce. If a word ends with an approximant or lateral approximant, it takes the "-dad" suffix. This seems like it would be a very intricate and complex system for the derivation of these words, for which there will always be the odd exception, so I think I'll stop here.
My suggestion would be to just sound out the words if you have any doubt. One will usually sound better than the other.