There are several different kinds of words in English, such as NOUNS, VERBS, ADJECTIVES ADVERBS PRONOUNS AND CONNECTIVES, but for the work we are interested in for the FCE, CAE and CPE exams, we can separate these groups into two, NOUNS, VERBS, ADJECTIVES AND ADVERBS, and the rest.
An important part of the exams mentioned needs the student to understand how words in these groups are formed, using prefixes and suffixes, and then how words from one group can be changed into another group.
Let me give you an example:
HAPPY is an adjective, but by replacing the Y with INESS, we get HAPPINESS, which is a noun, and by replacing INESS by ILY, we get HAPPILY, which is an adverb.
Prefixes and suffixes have three effects on these words:
- They change the meaning.
- They change the part of speech.
- And they change the spelling.
The words we are studying have three parts, the prefix, the root and the suffix.
A prefix is a short word which goes at the beginning of the word.
Unhappy - UN is the prefix.
A suffix is a short word that goes at the end of the word.
unhappiNESS - NESS is a suffix.
The bit in the middle is the root of the word.
un HAPPY ness - HAPPY is the root of the word.
Prefixes and Suffixes are used for a reason, which is usually to change a word from one part of speech to another.
This is the aspect that is most important for the FCE, where you may be given a NOUN and you need a VERB or an ADJECTIVE.
This is the approach which we will look at in this section.