English Exercises > parts of speech exercises > WORD FORMATION - PREFIXES & SUFFIXES
 
 
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PREFIXES and SUFFIXES create new words, usually by modifying or changing the meaning of a ROOT WORD.If we take a root word like EMPLOY (verb) or HAPPY (adjective), we can see how their meaning changes.

*UN + employ + ED = UNEMPLOYED (the verb becomes an adjective with a negative meaning)

* happy + NESS = HAPPINESS (the adjective becomes a noun)

Pay attention to changes in SPELLING: –  “y” often becomes “i” / final “e” often disappears (…)

 
 

1. PREFIXES like DIS/IN/IM/IR/UN/IL/MIS are used to give an opposite/negative meaning to a word.

Task: Find the opposites of the words on the right and write them down.
 

 

POSSIBLE

LOYAL

HONEST

REGULAR

LEGAL

COMPLETE

REPLACEABLE

EFFECTIVE

POPULAR

FORTUNE

DIFFERENT

KIND

 

2. SUFFIXES can be used to form a verb,  a noun, an adjective and an adverb.

EXAMPLES

*dark (adjective) + ness = darkness (noun) 

*strength (noun) + enstrengthen (verb) 

*probable (adjective) + (l)yprobably (adverb)

*glory (noun) + ousglorious (adjective)

 
Task: Link the verbs with their correct suffix to form NOUNS and write them down. Follow the example and be careful with the spelling.
 
a) IMAGINE          1. -ance   g ASSISTANCE
b) WEAK                2. -ity       
c) TEACH              3. -ation   
d) INFECT            4. -sion      
e) DECIDE            5. -ence 
f) ARGUE              6. -er         
g) ASSIST             7. -al         
h) SECURE            8. -ance   
i) REFUSE 9. -ment  
j) OCCUR 10. - ion   
k) RESIST             11. -ness  
 
 
3. PREFIXES and SUFFIXES

 

Task: Add a PREFIX and/or SUFFIX to the words below and put them in the correct sentence. In brackets you'll find some information on the parts of speech to use.
 

PROBABLE     COMMUNICATE     AGREE     CURIOUS     ANGER     HEALTH

     RESPONSIBLE     FAME     HELP     LIKE     CAREFUL     CONCLUDE
 
a) The lights are green, but nobody is moving. He is so  . (adjective)
 
b) Don't you know that saying " killed the cat?"  (noun)
 
c) I think you should drive more . You're scaring me. (adverb)
d) She is a very  TV star. (adjective)
e) They have different opinions on the subject. Their  will last forever. (noun with a negative meaning)
f) Brian is always late for work. He is so . (adjective with a negative meaning)
g) This Math problem is very difficult. Mary didn't come to any   .  (noun)
h) He can't see the banana peel. He will  slip and fall. (adverb)
 
i) You shouldn't eat so much junk food. It's very .   (adjective with a negative meaning)
j) Thanks for finding my cat. You're a very  young man.  (adjective)
k) My parents are always fighting. There is no  between them anymore.  (noun)
 
l) I really  my packed lunch. It doesn't smell so nice. (verb with a negative meaning)

 

       

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