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Adding a prefix to a word doesn't usually change the spelling of the stem of the word.


For example:-
anti + septic antiseptic
auto + biography autobiography
de - sensitize desensitize
dis - approve disapprove
im - possible impossible
inter - mediate intermediate
mega - byte megabyte
mis - take mistake
micro - chip microchip
re - used reused
un - available unavailable

Adding a suffix to a word often changes the spelling of the stem of the word. The following may help you work out the changes. Again there are exceptions, so if you're not sure - look it up in your dictionary.

Words ending in a consonant
When the suffix begins with a consonant, just add the ending without any changes.
For example:-
treat + ment Treatment


Doubling the consonant
For most words with a short vowel sound, ending with a single consonant, double the consonant when adding a suffix that starts with a vowel, such as er, ed or ing.  
For example:-
mop + ing mopping
big + est biggest
hot + er hotter
For words endling in l after a vowel, double the l before adding er, ed or ing.
For example:-
carol + ing carolling
travel + er travelling
Exceptions: Some words ending in r, x, w or y are exceptions to the doubling rule
tear + ing tearing
blow + ing blowing
box + er boxer
know + ing knowing

And if your main word has two consonants at the end, or more than one vowel, don't double the consonant.

rain + ing (two vowels a + i) raining
keep + er (two vowels e + e) keeper
break + ing (two vowels e + a) breaking
hang + er (two consonants n + g) hanger


Word Endings

Words ending in ce and ge
When you want to add a suffix starting with a or o leave the e in.
For example:-
manage + able manageable
notice + able noticeable
courage + ous courageous
prestige + ous prestigious


Words ending in ie
When you want to add ingto verbs ending in ie, drop the e and change the i to a y.
For example:-
die - dying lie - lying tie tying


Words ending in y after a consonant
When you want to add suffixes such -as, -ed, -es, -er, -eth, -ly, -ness, -ful and -ous to a word ending in y after a consonant, change the y to an i before adding the suffix.
For example:-
eighty + eth eightieth
duty + es duties
lazy + ness laziness
mystery +ous mysterious
beauty + ful beautiful
multiply + ed multiplied
busy + ly busily


Words ending in y after a vowel
Keep the y when adding suffixes such as er, ing or ed.
For example:-
destroy destroying destroyed
pry prying pried
buy buying buyer
play playing Player


You may be confused by some differences in spelling that are actually caused by the differences between American (AmE) and British (BrE) English spelling. It's not that one is right or better and the other wrong or worse, the trick is to learn one form of spelling and stick to it. Try not to mix them up.

-ise vs -ize

-re vs -er

British vs American English
American vs British English

"The United States and Great Britain are two countries separated by a common language." George Bernard Shaw

aluminium   aluminum
bank holiday3   public holiday
basin   *sink
big wheel   Ferris wheel
biscuits   cookies
bonnet   hood
boot   trunk
braces   suspenders
break (play time)   recess
candyfloss   cotton candy
car park   parking lot
chest (set) of drawers   bureau
caretaker   janitor
chips   French fries
compere   emcee
cinema   movie theater
crisps   chips
crossroads   intersection
current account   checking account
curtains   drapes
drawing-pin   thumbtack
drink-driving   drunk driving
dummy   pacifier
dustbin   trashcan
engaged   busy
film   movie
fish fingers   fish sticks
flannel   washcloth
flat   apartment
flu   grippe
fringe   bangs
frying-pan   skillet
funfair   carnival
garden   yard
ground floor   first floor
guide dog   seeing eye dog
handbag   purse
holiday   vacation
hoover   vacuum cleaner
jam   jelly
jug   pitcher
jumper   sweater
kerb   curb
ladder   run
lamp post   street light
last post   taps
lift   elevator
lorry   truck
mackintosh   slicker
main road   highway
manual (cars)   stick shift
minced beef   ground beef
mobile phone (aka mobile)   cell phone (aka cell)
motorway   freeway / turnpike
nail varnish   nail polish
nappies   diapers
page   bellboy
pants   panties
pavement   sidewalk
petrol   gas
plait   braid
plaster   band-aid
play truant   cut class
porridge   oatmeal
postcode   zip code
pram   baby buggy
prison officer   correctional officer
public school   private school
pupil   student
removal van   moving van
! rubber !   eraser
rubbish   garbage
rubbish   trash
rucksack   knapsack
saloon car   sedan
school report   report card
Sellotape   Scotch tape
shares   stocks
spare time   free time
spring onion   scallion
!suspenders (used to hold up ladies stockings)   garters
tap   faucet
tights   panty hose
tin   can
toffee apple   candy apple
toilet   bathroom
torch   flashlight
traffic warden   parking meter attendant
tram   streetcar trolley car
trousers   !pants
vest   undershirt
washing powder   detergent
washing up liquid   dishwashing liquid
wellies / wellingtons   rubber boots
windscreen   windshield
yard2   yard
zip   zipper
aluminum   aluminium
apartment   flat
baby buggy   pram
band-aid   plaster
bangs   fringe
bathroom   toilet
bellboy   page
braid   plait
bureau   office
busy   engaged
can   tin
candy apple   toffee apple
carnival   funfair
cell phone (aka cell)   mobile phone (aka mobile)
checking account   current account
chips   crisps
cookies   biscuits
correctional officer   prison officer
cotton candy   candyfloss
curb   kerb
cut class   play truant
detergent   washing powder
diapers   nappies
dishwashing liquid   washing up liquid
drapes   curtains
drunk driving   drink-driving
elevator   lift
emcee   compere
eraser   !rubber
faucet   tap
Ferris wheel   big wheel
fish sticks   fish fingers
flashlight   torch
free time   spare time
freeway / turnpike   motorway
French fries   chips
garbage   rubbish
garters   !suspenders
gas   petrol
grippe   flu
ground beef   minced beef
first floor   ground floor
highway   main road
hood   bonnet
intersection   crossroads
janitor   caretaker
jelly   jam
knapsack   rucksack
motorway exit   ramp
movie   film
movie theater   cinema
moving van   removal van
nail polish   nail varnish
oatmeal   porridge
pacifier   dummy
!pants   knickers
panty hose   tights
parking lot   car park
parking meter attendant   traffic warden
pitcher   jug
private school   public school
public holiday   bank holiday3
purse   handbag
ramp1   slip road
recess   break (play time)
report card   school report
! rubber !   condom
rubber boots   wellies / wellingtons
run   ladder
scallion   spring onion
Scotch tape   Sellotape
sedan   saloon car
seeing eye dog   guide dog
sidewalk   pavement
*sink   basin
skillet   frying-pan
slicker   mackintosh
stick shift   manual (cars)
stocks   shares
street light   lamp post
streetcar   tram
student   pupil
!suspenders   braces
sweater   jumper
taps   last post
thumbtack   drawing-pin
toilet   !toilet (but the loo not the room)
trash   rubbis
trashcan   dustbin
trolley car   tram
truck   lorry
trunk   boot
undershirt   vest
vacation   holiday
vacuum cleaner   hoover
washcloth   flannel
windshield   windscreen
yard   garden
zip code   postcode
zipper   zip
1 - When used to talk about roads and motorways. Someone I know took over 4 hours to complete a 25 minute drive, because he didn't know what his sat nav system meant when it said "Take the ramp". 2 - When a Brit hears the word "yard" in connection with houses, we think of a concrete area, usually full of building materials, or work tools. 3 - Bank holidays have to follow certain rules, otherwise they are also known as public holidays in the UK. You can read more about what makes a bank holiday in the British Culture section. !Note - *if the sink is in the kitchen - it's a sink, but if it's in the bathroom it's a basin. Another huge difference that causes great confusion is writing the date. When you write the date in numbers British and American English differ. To write the date 7th of September 2007 a Brit would write dd/mm/yy (07/09/07) and an American would write mm/dd/yy (09/07/07). This often causes great confusion. It's better to write the date in full (7th September 2007 or September 7th 2007). It also looks nicer.


Question Forms

1. Questions without question words and be

Subject and verb change their position in statement and question.

  • Sentence: You are from Germany.
  • Question: Are you from Germany?

We always use the short answer, not only Yes or No. That's why questions without question words are also calledYES/NO-questions.

2. Questions with question words and be

Question word Verb Subject Rest Answer
Where are you from? I am from Stuttgart. I'm from Stuttgart.
What is your name?   My name is Peter.
How are Pat and Sue?   They are fine. They're fine.

Questions with question words are also called WH-questions.


3. Questions without question words and have

Auxiliary Subject Verb Rest Yes/No Subject Auxiliary (+ n't)
Have you got a cat? Yes, I have.
Have you got a new car? No, we haven't.
Has your brother got a bike? Yes, he has.
Do you have a cat? Yes, I do.
Do you have a new car? No, we don't.
Does your brother have a bike? Yes, he does.

4. Questions with question words and have

Question word Auxiliary Subject Verb Rest Answer
Where have you got your ruler? I've got it in my pencil case.
Where do you have your ruler? I have it in my pencil case.

5. Questions without question words in the Simple Present

Auxiliary Subject Verb Rest Yes/No Subject Auxiliary (+ n't)
Do you read books? Yes, No, I I do. don't.
Does Peter play football? Yes, he does.

6. Questions with question words in the Simple Present

Question word Auxiliary Subject Verb Rest Answer
What do you play on your computer? I play games on my computer.
When does your mother go to work? She goes to work at 6 o'clock.

7. Questions without question words in the Simple Past

Auxiliary Subject Verb Rest Yes/No Subject Auxiliary (+ n't)
Did Max play football? Yes, No, he he did. didn't.



to be Subject Rest Yes/No Subject Auxiliary (+ n't)
Were you in Leipzig last week? Yes, No, I I was. wasn't.

8. Questions with question words in the Simple Past

Question word Auxiliary Subject Verb Rest Answer
What did you play yesterday evening? I played computer games.


Question word to be Subject Rest Answer
Where were you yesterday? I was at the cinema.

Subject question

Question word Verb Rest Subject Verb Rest
Who runs to the shop? Peter runs to the shop.


10. Object question

Question word Auxiliary Subject Verb Rest Answer
Who did Mandy phone last Monday? Mandy phoned her uncle.


Subject question Object question
Who phoned John? Who did John phone?



Normal word order is used in reported questions, that is, the subject comes before the verb, and it is not necessary to use 'do' or 'did':


Direct speech Indirect speech
"Where does Peter live?" She asked him where Peter lived.
"Where are you going?" She asked where I was going.
"Why is she crying?" He asked why she was crying.



This type of question is reported by using 'ask' + 'if / whether' + clause:


Direct speech Indirect speech
"Do you speak English?" He asked me if I spoke English.
"Are you British or American?" He asked me whether I was British or American.
"Is it raining?" She asked if it was raining.
"Have you got a computer?" He wanted to know whether I had a computer.
"Can you type?" She asked if I could type.
"Did you come by train?" He enquired whether I had come by train.
"Have you been to Bristol before?" She asked if I had been to Bristol before.


This type of question is reported by using 'ask' (or another verb like 'ask') + question word + clause. The clause contains the question, in normal word order and with the necessary tense change.

Date: 2015-12-11; view: 1270

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