Everyday English 1
Everyday English 1

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Everyday English 1

3.5 Common spelling patterns and the exceptions

Another helpful strategy is to recognise patterns of letters that are always spelt the same way. These are generally easy to see when they come at the beginning or the end of a word. They are then called prefixes and suffixes.

Prefixes

Prefixes are patterns of letters that come at the beginning of a word.

Activity 17 ‘Pre’ pattern

Allow about 5 minutes

How many words can you think of that start with the letters pre?

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Discussion

How about present, preview, pretend, prefix, presume, precise? You may have thought of others.

Activity 18 More prefixes

Allow about 10 minutes

How many words can you think of that start with the following prefixes? Aim for two for each.

un, in, mis, re, anti, im, dis

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Discussion

Here are some examples:

undo, unimpressive

instinct, intense

misunderstand, misinform

respect, resist

anticipate, antidote

impressive, imperfect

discount, disturb

Prefixes often have a specific meaning and can change the meaning of a word. For example, ‘re’ means to do again (as in ‘rerun’) and ‘im’ means the opposite of (as in ‘impossible’).

When you add a prefix to a word, you don’t change the spelling of the original word; for example, it is ‘misspelling’, not ‘mispelling’.

Activity 19 Matching prefixes

Allow about 5 minutes

Match each of the following words with one of the prefixes from the previous activities to make a new word.

take, port, social, appear, likely, patient, member, sent

Here are the prefixes again:

un, in, pre, mis, re, anti, im, dis

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Discussion

Here are some examples. You may well have thought of others.

mistake, import, antisocial, disappear, unlikely, impatient, remember, present

Suffixes

Let’s look at word endings now. Lots of words end in -ing, but some other common endings are:

ment, tion, ally, ness, ly, ful

Activity 20 ‘ment’ suffix

Allow about 2 minutes

How many words can you think of that end in ‘ment’?

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Discussion

Here are some:

establishment, encouragement, agreement, apartment.

You probably thought of different ones.

Activity 21 More suffixes

Allow about 5 minutes

How many words can you think of that end with the following suffixes?

ally, tion, ness, ly, ful

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Discussion

Here are a few:

basically, physically

recreation, intention

usefulness, calmness

hopefully, carefully

hopeful, careful.

You may well have thought of different ones.

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