WORD BUILDING

 

1. PREFIXES         

 

 

UN-     It is added to adjectives, “-ed” or “-ing” participles. It means “not”, “the opposite of”.

            Examples: unhappy, unexpected, unfair.

 

 

IN-      (Il- before l ; Im- before labials; Ir- before r). It means the same as “un-“. It is often used in words of Latin or French origin.

            Examples: insane, illogical, irreverent, improper.

 

 

DIS-    It is added to adjectives, verbs and abstract nouns. It means the same as “un-“.

            Examples: disobedient, disloyal, dislike.

 

 

MIS-   It means “badly”, “wrongly” and it is added to verbs, abstract nouns and participles. It is a pejorative prefix.  

            Examples: misfortune, misunderstand, misused.

 

 

 

2. SUFFIXES

 

2.1. NOUNS.

 

-NESS            This is added to adjectives to form abstract nouns, denoting a “state” or “quality”.

                        Examples: happiness, selfishness.

 

 

-ITY                This is added to adjectives to form abstract nouns denoting a “state” or “quality”. It is often used with adjectives of classical or French origin.

                        Examples: sanity, respectability.

 

 

-ATION          This is added to verbs to form abstract nouns meaning “state”, “action”.

                        Examples: exploration, explanation.

 

 

-MENT           It is added to verbs to form abstract nouns denoting “state”, “action”.

                        Examples: arrangement, amazement.

                       

 

 

2.2. VERBS.

 

-EN                 Added mainly to monosyllabic adjectives.

                        Examples: short-shorten.

 

 

 

 

 

 

2.3. ADJECTIVES.

 

2.3.1. SUFFIXES ADDED TO NOUNS.

 

-FUL               It is added to abstract nouns to make adjectives meaning “full of”, “having”, “giving”.

                        Examples: delightful, successful, hopeful, helpful.

 

 

-LESS             Added to nouns to form adjectives meaning “without”, “not giving”.

                        Examples: speechless, homeless, careless.

 

 

-Y                   It is added to concrete mass nouns. It means “like”, “full of”, “covered with”.

                        Examples: creamy, hairy, noisy.

 

 

-ISH                It is added to proper and countable nouns to form adjectives meaning “belonging to” or “having the character of”.

                        Examples: Spanish, Danish, selfish, foolish.

 

-AL                 Very common. They do not have a single meaning, but may signify several things

-IC

-IVE

-OUS

 

 

2.3.2. SUFFIXES ADDED TO VERBS.

 

-ABLE            Added mainly to transitive verbs to form adjectives, usually with a passive meaning.

                        Examples: drinkable (able to be drunk)