Hey there! You’re welcome to one more ABC English Levels and Valentine’s audio lesson on the FCE. Today we’re considering the Reading & Use of English Part 3. This part might be like Chinese arithmetic or a piece of cake for you, depends… It depends on how well you know English prefixes and suffixes. If you don’t have enough exercises under your belt, it must be all Greek to you. Like Chinese arithmetic and Greek to you are synonyms and mean sth very complicated and difficult to understand. Unlike this, if sth is a piece of cake for you, it’s easy-peasy (the full expression is easy-peasy lemon squeezy, very colloquial), and it means very easy. Also, if you have sth under your belt, you have experience of it.
So, from this lesson, you’ll learn what you should know to make the Reading & Use of English Part 3 less difficult, some useful links to practice word formation and some tips, as usual. Let’s get to the point.
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What is the Reading & Use of English Part 3 like?
It’s a text containing 8 gaps. Each gap corresponds to one word, which you must form from the stem words given beside each line where the missing word is needed.
What does the Reading & Use of English Part 3 test?
It tests your knowledge of word formation by means of prefixes, suffixes and changing a word.
How is the Reading & Use of English Part 3 marked?
You’re given one mark for each correct answer.
As I’ve said before, in the Reading & Use of English Part 3, you have to form the right word for each gap from the given stems by means of prefixes, suffixes and changing of a word. Let’s see the most common prefixes and how they work.
A prefix is a group of letters that come before the root of a word. We can form adjectives, verbs and nouns using a prefix. E.g.: il+legal=illigal, im+polite=impolite (adj.), mis+lead=mislead, dis+agree=disagree (verbs), pre+fix=prefix, non+sense=nonsense (nouns). Prefixes normally change the meaning of a word, they don’t alter a part of speech. That is to say, an adjective stays adjective, a verb goes on as a verb.
There’re a lot of prefixes in English, and, of course, it’s quite difficult to remember them all. But at least, you should try to learn the most common of them. It will help to understand shades of meaning and tell negative from positive ones.
A suffix is a group of letters that go after the root of a word. E.g.: help+less=helpless, beauty+ful=beautiful, clear+ly=clearly etc.
Unlike prefixes, suffixes can change a part of speech as well as the meaning. E.g.: Beautiful is an adjective formed from the noun beauty, clearly is an adverb deriving from the adjective clear.
To feel more confident, you should learn at least the most frequently used to form nouns, adjectives, verbs and adverbs.
- -ness: kindness, tiredness
- -er: waiter, villager
- -or: educator, creator
- -ship: friendship, internship
- -hood: brotherhood, neighbourhood
- -tion/-sion: relation, negotiation, inclusion, admission
- -ity: peculiarity, ability
- -ment: compliment, excitement
- -ture: architecture, agriculture
- -ence/-ance: preference, endurance
- -al: proposal, refusal
- -ery/-ry: bakery, robbery
- -al: political, central
- -ent: dependent, excellent
- -able: countable, avoidable
- -ible: sensible, responsible
- -ive: attractive, effective
- -ous: continuous, dangerous
- -ful: peaceful, helpful, hopeful
- -less: helpless, careless, hopeless
- -ish: girlish, thirtyish, yellowish
- -ise: characterise, stabilise
- -ate: duplicate, fabricate
- -fy: simplify, justify
- -en: awaken, shorten
-ly: calmly, quietly, quickly (NB: friendly is an adjective, not an adverb, as well as ghastly and some other adjectives)
-wise: clockwise, likewise, edgewise
-ward(s): downward(s), upward(s), homeward(s)
Change of the stem
wide – width, long – length
- To form the right word mind the context! It’s so easy to make a mistake and use a negative form instead of positive or vice versa. Not only must the right missing word have the correct form but fit in the context of the text. It’s also very important to understand what part of speech the missing word is: a noun, a verb, or an adjective. For this, check your knowledge of the English sentence structure.
- Knowing the meanings of prefixes and suffixes will expand your vocabulary and help to cope with the exam task much better. To facilitate the process of learning, you can group them according to their definitions. For instance, prefixes im-, in-, un-, non-, dis-, ill- mean not, without sth.
- Sometimes you might need to eliminate a prefix or suffix in a given word to form the right missing word. Say, you have a sentence: To complete all the tasks perfectly, you need stamina and … The given word is energetic. It’s an adjective, but the structure of the sentence requires a noun. So, what would be the missing word? Right: energy.
- In some cases, you have to add both prefix and suffix to the given stem. See an example: As the wooden chairs looked quite … , she decided to stand although the concert could take more than an hour. The given word is comfort. We have the gap after ‘looked’, it’s one of the sense verbs, so, we need an adjective after it. So, comfortable seems all right here. Now, what’s about the meaning of the sentence? Should the adjective be positive or negative? Analise: she decided to stand although the concert could take more than an hour. Evidently, the chairs were not comfortable. So, the correct answer is uncomfortable. We’ve added the prefix un- and the suffix -able.
- In other situations, you may need to change the stem completely. E.g: The river was quite … (width) and we didn’t know the … (deep). For the 1st gap, we need an adjective from width – wide. And, for the 2nd gap, we have to use a noun derived from the adjective deep – depth.
As in everything, practice makes perfect. You can google to find the websites with exercises. As an example, I would recommend https://english-grammar.at where you can choose exercises according to your level.
That’s all for today. I remind you that ABC English Levels offers highly personalised Skype classes. Contact us to know more and share this audio lesson on social networking sites if you like it. We also have excellent modern eLive courses of all levels, give them a go!
This was ABC English Levels and your Valentine. Take care and enjoy your life!