English language is a language of variety, and it works like a machine where you can put parts together to build a specific shape or structure. In English language, we can find a variety of rooted words that can have different synonyms or antonyms, and to vary the way we write or speak, we can also use some techniques such as affixation.
An affix is a morpheme that can be divided no further, it’s a small part of language that can be added to a rooted word to modify the meaning and to convey it into different parts of speech; such as adjectives, adverbs, nouns, and verbs. For example,
Expect (root in verb form) — Ожидать (основное слово)
Expected (adjective) — Ожидаемый (прилагательное)
Unexpected (antonym adjective) — Неожиданный (прилагательное-антоним)
Unexpectedly (antonym adverb) — Неожиданно (наречие-антоним)
Expectation (noun) — Ожидание (существительное)
The affix that we add to the beginning of a rooted word is called prefix and the affix that we add to the end of the word is called suffix. In this article, we will be delving into how we can make negative forms and antonyms using the commonly known and most used negative prefixes.
Non- is a prefix that shows the meaning of “absent” and it can be used with nouns or adjectives. For example:
Smoker — non-smoker
Sense — nonsense
Alcoholic — non-alcoholic
He used to be an alcoholic, but now he consumes only non-alcoholic beverages.
Раньше он был алкоголиком, но теперь он употребляет только безалкогольные напитки.
Dis- is a prefix that comes with the usage of making antonyms, and it is very common among native speakers and writers. For instance,
Regard — disregard
Charge — discharge
Connect — disconnect
Comfort — discomfort
Loyal — disloyal
We sensed that he was disloyal and would eventually turn on us.
Мы чувствовали, что он ненадёжен, и в конечном итоге нас выдаст.
Im- comes after rooted words that start with “m” or “p”, and it is usually used to show negation or antonyms.
Possible — Impossible
Mortal — immortal
The noise made sleep impossible.
Из-за шума было невозможно спать.
In- so similar to im- and is used for the same purposes, an example for that:
My friend had been active on social media for years, but now he’s inactive.
Мой друг был активен в социальных сетях в течение многих лет, но сейчас он неактивен.
Other examples include:
Appropriate — inappropriate
Secure — insecure
These are just example to show you briefly, but be sure that you’ll find so many words that are used with the prefix in-.
For this negative prefix, it might be the most commonly used among above examples, and it is used to demonstrate antonyms of rooted words of course. These are words like:
Finished — unfinished
Done — undone
Stoppable — unstoppable
What is done cannot be undone.
Сделанного не воротишь.
To summarize, the rules here very simple and they can be used very easily for those who would like to beautify their language by making it richer in vocabulary, the examples above are for demonstration; and of course, there are plenty of other negative prefixes that you might find very useful in the next steps of developing your language skills as an ESL (English as a Second Language) learner. The most important point is that English is a living language that runs dynamically and smoothly.