Negative Prefixes Exercise (144)

Replace the blanks in the following sentences with the appropriate negative version of the words.

  • I think it’s excessively _________ to call a person on the phone and start talking without identifying yourself.

  • Now that elementary schools neglect writing instruction, most students in the upper grades produce ________ handwriting.

  • Martha lost her job two years ago; being ________ for that long has destroyed her confidence.

  • Everyone occasionally _________ words they know.

  • I really ________ the pornographic K-Mart Christmas commercial for men’s underwear.

Answers and Explanations

1. I think it’s excessively impolite to call a person on the phone and start talking without identifying yourself.

The prefix im- can mean not and opposite of. Many words beginning with p form the negative with im-, but not all.

2. Now that elementary schools neglect writing instruction, most students in the upper grades produce illegible handwriting.

The prefix il- can mean not and opposite of. It is used with words that begin with the letter l.

3. Martha lost her job two years ago; being unemployed for that long has destroyed her confidence.

The prefix un- means not, reverse action, deprive of, release from. It is the most common negative prefix and works with most words.

4. Everyone occasionally misspells words they know.

The prefix mis- means wrong.

5. I really dislike the pornographic K-Mart Christmas commercial for men’s underwear.

The prefix dis- means not and opposite of.

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