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Appendix v. Word formation

A Introduction

Look at these examples.

Lots of people believe that God exists.

Lots of people believe in the existence of God.

Exist is a verb and existence is a noun. The word existence has two parts: exist and ence. We call ence a 'suffix'. We add it to end of the verb exist to form a noun.

We can also use suffixes to form verbs, adjectives and adverbs. The system is being modernized. (= made modern)

I grew up in an industrial town. (= a town where there is a lot of industry) The man was behaving strangely. (= in a strange way)

There are many different suffixes, such as ence, ize, al, ly, tion and ment. Some of them can be used to form many different words. For example, there are a lot of nouns ending in tion: action, education, explanation, information, instruction, etc. There are no exact rules about which suffix you can add to which word. Adding a suffix can also involve other changes to the form of a word. industry > industrial repeat > repetition science > scientist.

Now look at these examples.

They're going to play the match on Wednesday.

They're going to replay the match on Wednesday.

We can add re to the beginning of the verb play. We call re a 'prefix'. A prefix adds something to the meaning of a word. The verb replay means 'play again'. We can also add prefixes to nouns and adjectives. See G and H.

B Noun suffixes

ment the prospects for employment reach an agreement

ion/tion/sion take part in a discussion increase steel production ask for permission

ation/ition an invitation to a party people's opposition to the idea

ence/ance a preference for houses rather than flats a distance of ten miles

ty/ity no certainty that we shall succeed keep the door locked for security

ness people's willingness to help recovering from an illness

ing enter a building reach an understanding

C Nouns for people

er/or the driver of the car a newspaper editor

ist a place full of tourists a scientist doing an experiment

ant/ent an assistant to help with my work students at the university
an/ian Republicans and Democrats the electrician rewiring the house
ee an employee of the company (= someone employed)

notes for examinees (= people taking an exam)

We also use er for things, especially machines.

a hair-dryer a food mixer a cassette player

D Verb suffixes

Many verbs are formed by adding ize or ise to an adjective. Some are formed by adding en. ize European safety rules are being standardized. They privatized the company. en They're widening the road here. Meeting you has really brightened my day.


E Adjective suffixes

Most of these adjectives are formed from nouns.

al a professional musician Britain's coastal waters

ic a metallic sound a scientific inquiry

ive an informative guidebook an offer exclusive to our readers

ful a successful career feeling hopeful about the future

less feeling hopeless about the future (= without hope) powerless to do anything about it

ous guilty of dangerous driving luxurious holiday apartments



y a rocky path the salty taste of sea water

ly > 109A a friendly smile a very lively person

able/ible an acceptable error (= an error that can be accepted) a comprehensible explanation

a valuable painting (= worth a lot of money) a comfortable chair

F Adverbs

ly>108 He looked around nervously. I moved here quite recently.

G Some common prefixes

anti (= against) anti-roads protestors anti-government troops

inter (= between) an international match interstate highways in the US

mini (= small) a minicomputer the minibar in your hotel room

mis (= wrongly) mishear what someone says miscalculate the amount

multi (= many) multicoloured lights a multimillionaire

over (= too much) too fond of overeating overcrowded roads

post (= after) the post-war world a postgraduate student

pre { before) pre-match entertainment in prehistoric times

re ( again) a reunion of old friends reread a favourite book

semi (= half) semi-skilled work sitting in a semicircle

super (= big) a huge new superstore a supertanker carrying oil

under (= too little) thin and underweight underpaid work

H Negative prefixes

We can also use a prefix to form an opposite. For example, the opposite of clear is unclear (= not clear). Un is the most common negative prefix.

dis a dishonest way to behave can't help being disorganized dislike the idea

disappear from the scene a disadvantage of the plan

il (+ 1) an illegal drug an illiberal attitude

im (+ m or p) an impossible task an impolite question

in an indirect route the invisible man a great injustice

ir (+ r) an irregular shape an irrelevant remark

non non-alcoholic drinks a non-stop flight

un an uncomfortable chair an unusual event an undated letter

uncertain what to do unpack your suitcase unzip the bag



Date: 2014-12-22; view: 265


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