Radio Inspire

How To Learn Sign Language

Negative Prefixes in English: UN-, DIS-, NON-, A-, AB-, AN-, ANTI-


Hello. I’m Gill from engVid, and today we have a
lesson on a way of increasing your vocabulary by turning a positive word into a negative
one just by adding a few letters at the front, which is called a “negative prefix”. Okay. So, it’s a rather nice way of adding to the… All the words that you know in English. And in English, there are actually 12 different
prefixes, negative prefixes, so what we’ve done: We have done two separate lessons. There’s another lesson covering five of the
negative prefixes that all begin with the letter “i”. This one, we have seven, the other seven which
all begin with different letters. Okay. So, just a way to increase your vocabulary,
turning a positive word to a negative one. Right. So, let’s… let’s start. And looking first of all at the prefix: “un”
which makes something negative. So, if something is “believable”, you believe
it. “That seems believable.” If someone makes an excuse, why they’re late
for… For their class or for work – they had a believable
excuse; a believable reason why they were late. But if you think: “Oh, that doesn’t sou-… I don’t think I believe that. That doesn’t sound right. I think they’re lying”, basically. Telling a lie, then their… their reason
is “unbelievable”. “That was unbelievable.” Okay, so that turns it to the negative. So, there are a lot of words in English which
you can add “un” at the beginning. So, another one, if you’re “certain” about
something, you’re… You’re very sure about it. You know it’s true. But if you’re “uncertain”, then you’re not
sure. Okay. “Fair”. If things are fair, then it’s… Everything is good; everybody is being treated
equally and treated well. But if something is “unfair”. If someone’s handing out chocolates… I keep coming back to chocolates – I wonder
why. If someone is handing out chocolates to a
room full of people and they give five chocolates to one person, one chocolate to another person,
and no chocolates to another person, then that seems a little bit unfair. That’s unfair; everyone should have an equal
number. Okay. So, “unfair”. “Friendly”. We all try to be friendly and nice to each
other. If people are friendly, that’s great. But if they’re “unfriendly”, if they’re not
very nice, then that’s the opposite, of course. “Unfriendly”. “That woman was rather unfriendly.” Okay. And then: “happy”. If you’re happy, everything’s going well;
but then something bad happens and it makes you “unhappy”. “Unhappy”. Okay. “Kind”. When people behave nicely, they’re kind to
each other. And then the opposite would be “unkind”, again,
if someone does something not very nice. “That was an unkind thing to do.” Okay. “Lucky”. If you’re a lucky person, if you… If you go in for competitions, and the lottery,
things like that and you win some money or you win a prize quite often, then you’re a
lucky person; good things happen to you. Or just life in general, you feel: “I’ve… I’ve been very lucky; getting a good job,
finding somewhere nice to live, etc. I’ve been very lucky.” But if… if it’s the opposite and a lot of
things go wrong all the time, or you never win a prize or anything, or a competition,
then you’re “unlucky”. “That was unlucky. That was an unlucky day; everything went wrong.” Okay. “Popular”. If lots of people like you, then you’re popular. But if there’s someone that people don’t seem
to like; they don’t have much to do with them, they don’t have a nice chat, a conversation
with them, they stay away from them, then that person is “unpopular”. For whatever reason, people don’t like to
be with that person; they’re unpopular. Okay. So, “sure” is a bit like “certain”. “Certain” and “sure”. “I’m… I’m sure I did well in the exam. I’m sure.” But if you’re not sure, you feel a little
bit “unsure”. You’re unsure about how you did in the exam;
it’s hard to know: “Did I do well? I… I’m not sure. I’m unsure.” Okay. And then, finally, in this column: “tidy”
is when you keep your room, your house tidy, everything looks nice, there’s not a lot of
stuff lying all over the place. It’s very tidy. “You keep your room tidy. Clean and tidy.” But if you just leave everything lying about
all over the place, and dirty dishes, you’ve had a meal and you just left the dirty dishes
and the cutlery just lying around on the floor, and it’s smelling and horrible, then that’s
“untidy”. Untidy. “He’s such an untidy person. He leaves things lying around his room.” Okay. So, let’s move on to the next column, so:
“dis” is another prefix to turn words to the negative. So, if you agree with someone, you say: “Yes,
yes, I think so, too. I agree. I agree.” But if you don’t agree with them, then you
“disagree”. Okay. “I’m sorry, but I have to disagree with you,
there. I don’t think the same as you; I disagree.” Okay. “Appear”. If someone appears, you see them. “Oh, hello.” A friend comes into the room, they appear. But then if they… They go away again: “Oh, where did he go? Where did he go? He’s disappeared. He’s disappeared.” Okay. “Honest”. It’s good to try to be honest all the time;
tell the truth. But some people, I’m sure we’ve all met some
people who are “dishonest”; they’re not honest. They tell lies, they trick you, they deceive
you. “Dishonest”. Okay. So, you have to be careful. If you can tell if someone is dishonest, then
maybe you avoid having anything to do with them. So, okay. “Like” – nice, simple word. If you like somebody or you like something
– that’s the positive. If you don’t like it, you “dislike” it or
you dislike that person. “Dislike”. Okay. And, finally, in this column: “trust”. Again, it’s like “honest”. -“Can you trust this person? Can you believe what they tell you?” -“Yes, I trust that person.” Or: “No. I… I don’t trust that person. I ‘distrust’. Distrust that person. I’m not sure they’re telling the truth all
the time; I distrust them.” Okay. This one, fairly obvious with “non” as the
prefix. “Non” like “no”. And usually this one has the actual hyphen
included in the word; whereas all the others, you would just have the extra letters but
no hyphen. So this one usually, apart from here with
“nonsense”, you get the little hyphen; the little mark, there. So, with “fiction”, “fiction” is a book that’s
a story; not a true story, not a true history, but just a story or a novel that’s… That’s with characters in it who aren’t real
people, so that’s “fiction”. But if you prefer books which are about real
people or history, then it’s “non-fiction”; it’s the opposite of “fiction”. It’s “non-fiction”. Okay. So, “sense”. When things make sense, they sound logical. But if you say: “No, that… That’s nonsense. What you’ve just told me is nonsense. That can’t possibly be true. Nonsense.” Sometimes you hear what’s called fake news
nowadays or you see it on the internet, and it’s hard to tell sometimes: “Is that real
news or is it fake news? Is it true or not?” So, if it’s nonsense, it’s like fake news;
you can’t really believe it. It… It’s not possible. So, okay. A “smoker” – someone who smokes cigarettes,
etc., pipes, and cigars, tobacco of any kind; a smoker. But then there’s the “non-smoker” who does
not smoke. “Non-smoker”. Okay. And you can have room in hotels which are
non-smo-… Rooms for non-smokers, and carriages on the
train which are for non-smokers. In fact, I think in the UK, I don’t think
you can smoke on the train anymore. It’s… It’s not… Not legal anymore. It’s been banned to smoke anywhere on a train
or on the train platform even. So, in public places now it’s restricted. So, non-smokers are people who don’t smoke. “Stick”. If something sticks, it sort of stuck like
glue or something; two pieces of paper stuck together. “Non-stick” usually is a description for something
like a frying pan that you use; a non-stick frying pan. Okay. A frying pan that you fry… Oh, you might fry an egg, you might fry some
onions, anything like that. And if it’s non-stick, it means the food doesn’t
stick to the bottom of the frying pan. Okay. So, most modern frying pans are non-stick;
they have a special covering on them to stop the food sticking. Okay. “Stop”, that’s a simple word, when you stop. But if you do something “non-stop” or the
train… The train is non-stop from London to Scotland,
to Edinburgh, non-stop train – it means it doesn’t stop anywhere on the way from London
to Edinburgh, which is a very long way. I don’t know if there is such a train that
doesn’t stop anywhere on the way, but you would say: “It’s non-stop to somewhere”, or:
“We did… We were working yesterday non-stop. From 9 in the morning until 9 in the evening,
we worked non-stop. We didn’t stop for a break or anything”, so
that’s “non-stop”. Okay, good. Then we have some very short ones, which aren’t
used with many words. Just an “a” can be a negative prefix. So, a “theist” is anyone who believes in a
god of some kind; any god. But an “atheist” is someone who doesn’t believe
in any gods at all; they just don’t think there is such a thing as… As God, or a god or gods. So, that’s an “atheist” who just doesn’t have
any religious belief at all. Okay. And “typical”. If something’s typical, it happens all the
time. “Oh, what she did then was typical. She’s always doing that.” You know, maybe throwing rubbish on the floor,
in the street, which is a bad thing to do. But that’s typical of her; throwing… Throwing papers and rubbish onto the pavement
rather than taking it home and putting it in the bin when she gets home. “That’s so typical of her.” So, that’s “typical” – something someone does
regularly that you expect them to do. But if it’s “atypical”, that means it’s not
typical; so it’s a bit unusual for that to happen. Okay. So, if she amazingly one day keeps her rubbish
and takes it home, and puts it in the in bin instead of throwing it on the pavement, then
you could say: “That’s atypical of her. She usually throws it in the street.” So, okay. Then: “ab”, “ab” goes with a small number;
not many of words. So, “normal”. I’m sure you know the word “normal”, whatever
“normal” means, but “normal”. Whatever your definition of “normal” is. So, if something is “abnormal”, it’s the opposite
of normal. If… If you think I’m normal, for example… I don’t know if you do, but if you think I’m
normal, then that… Okay, thank you. But if you think I’m “abnormal”, you may think
I’m a bit strange, so you would call me “abnormal”. “Oh, she’s an abnormal tutor”, something like
that. So, it’s a sort of slightly personal opinion
word, whether something is abnormal or not, but whether it happens a lot. It’s a bit like “typical” and “atypical”;
“normal”, “abnormal”. It’s what you’re used to; what you expect
from somebody. Okay. This is a… I think, as far as I know, there’s only one
of these with “an” as the prefix, and it’s a rather scientific kind of term. Maybe used in chemistry, that kind… Biology, that sort of thing. “Hydrous” just means something that contains
water. Okay, from the Greek word for water. But if something is “anhydrous”, that just
means it doesn’t… It contains no water; it has no water in it. So it’s something completely dry with no water
at all, no moisture in it at all, no liquid. Okay. And then, finally, we have: “anti”, which
is a fairly obvious negative. “Anti” meaning to go against something. So, “biotic” is… Well, this one, it’s usually used with the
negative: “antibiotic” because it’s to do with medicine and pills that you take to fight
an infection. If you have an infection, you take antibiotics
because they fight the… The bacteria that are causing the infection. Okay. So, “bio” is to do with the… The body. The human body. Okay. So, to fight infection: “antibiotic”. “Clockwise”, this is quite a useful one. If… If you do something in a clockwise direction,
the direction that the hands of the clock go… They go around in that direction: “clockwise”
from here to… Around to there. But if it’s the other way around, if it’s
around this way, that’s “anticlockwise”. Okay. And then, finally: “social”. If someone is social, they’re friendly, they
like chatting to people. But if someone is “antisocial”, they tend
to stay on their own, they don’t seem to like talking very much or getting to know people,
having conversations. They’re antisocial. Okay. And then, finally, just a few little words
to show that not every word beginning with these letters is necessarily negative. There are words that just happen to begin
with those letters. I’m sure you know most of these. So: “under” just means under something; it’s
not a negative. If you “discuss” something, you just talk
about it; there’s no negative there. “Display” – if you put things out on a table
to show someone… or in an exhibition, in an art gallery, there is a display to look
at. That’s not really a negative. “Able”. We’ve got “ab” here, but “able” is not a negative;
it just means you’re able to do something, you can do something. And “an”, “angry” just means angry; feeling
mad, annoyed by something. It’s not necessarily… Well, it’s not a very pleasant emotion; it’s
a bit negative, I suppose. But this isn’t a negative prefix on the front;
it just happens to begin with those two letters. Okay. So, I hope that’s helped to help you expand
your vocabulary, and understand how negative prefixes work. Do have a look at the other lesson with the
other five. And also, if you’d like to go to the website,
www.engvid.com and do the quiz, and if you’d like to subscribe to my channel if you’d like
to see more… See more of me – that would be great. And see you again soon. Okay. Bye.

100 Replies to “Negative Prefixes in English: UN-, DIS-, NON-, A-, AB-, AN-, ANTI-”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *