Many students ask us how to prepare and learn the tricks when doing the word formation part in the FCE exam. This section is one of the most difficult in the Use of English paper, next to open cloze of course, but there are some rules that help you to complete this task much quicker. It takes a while but after couple of activities my students were able to change the given word correctly and quickly.
The first and the most important step of this part is to read the sentence carefully to decide what kind of word is missing– is it a noun, a verb, an adjective or an adverb, is it positive or negative, singular or plural. Once you know the missing part of speech you can modify the word by adding prefixes or suffixes.
How and what prefixes we add
|The following prefixes all mean NOT when they come before a word. We often put il- before words beginning with l, ir- before words beginning with r, and im- before words beginning with p. There are few exceptions though.|
Which prefixes do we use to make these adjectives negative?
|Make these words into nouns.
a) happy f) popular
b) intelligent g) friend
c) approve h) social
d) repeat i) pay
e) inform j) approve
d) high (adj) => hight (n)
– ible -able -y -al -ive -ful -less -ous
Try to make these words into adjectives:
– ve -ist -en -ise -ize -ity
Try to make these words into verbs:
1. wide 2. sympathy 3. behaviour 4. clear
In British English you should normally use -ise
You probably know that majority of adverbs are formed by adding the suffix -ly. However, there are few exceptions.
Try to make these words into adverbs:
1. hard 2. peace 3. good 4. fast 5. slow 6. true
Now, it’s time to put the theory into practice. Read through the passage below and think about what kind of words you need to make. For example, 0 is an adjective (nervous). Look at the list the parts of speech and explanations for 1-10 and then complete the task.