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Negative prefixes

As there are several ways to form the negative of word in English, a good rule is to always check the words that you are not sure about in the Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary.

However, it is worth learning a few rules about which prefix is likely to be used to form a negative.


is also used with verbs, adjectives and nouns to form opposites: dislike, disobedient, distrust


is used to form opposites before the letter L: illogical


is used to form opposites before the letters B, M, P:  imbalance, immaterial, impossible


is used to form opposites, such as: inaccurate, inexact


is used to form opposites before the letter R: irregular, irresponsible. But note that a few words starting with r have un- as a negative prefix: unreliable


Is added to adjectives and indicates the opposite quality from the positive word: unexpected = surprising, unwise = foolish


Fecha: 27/4/2017 | Creado por: Maria Carolina
Categoria: Unit 2