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  • Hi. Welcome back to www.engvid.com. I'm Adam. Today's lesson is a bit of a strange lesson.

  • I'm going to tell you something that you can't actually learn. Well, you can learn it, there's

  • just no rules for it. I'm talking about specifically some prefixes.

  • "Dis-", "un", "in/im-/il/ir-", "non-". Okay?

  • First of all, let's review a little bit. What is a prefix? A prefix is a little part of

  • a word that comes before the main word; can come before an adjective, before an adverb,

  • before a noun, before a verb. Anything that comes before a word, especially before a root

  • of a word. We're going to look at an example of that very soon.

  • So, I was asked specifically to talk about these prefixes. All of them basically mean "not".

  • Okay? They negate the word they are added to. Now, generally speaking, you can

  • find specific little subtle differences between all of them. For example, "dis" means more

  • like be apart of or away from, separate. "Un" means not or a reversal of something,

  • or not having something, a lack of something, a deprivation. And same with these guys, not,

  • reverse, opposite. "Non" is the most simple one. "Non" basically means not. Okay?

  • But, the problem is that most of these can go with many words, but there's no real rule about

  • which word takes which prefix. Okay? So, how do you learn which one to use in which situation?

  • Well, I'll tell you after we look at a few examples. Okay?

  • So, again, all of these mean not. The only thing you have to worry about the most is

  • the actual word that is being connected to a prefix. Okay? Concentrate on the root or

  • the word itself before you concentrate on which prefix to join to it.

  • Now, you will see that some words will take both prefixes, and be totally okay.

  • The problem is that their meanings are completely different. So, "to dislike", this is a verb,

  • "to dislike", it could also be a noun. "I have a strong dislike for certain vegetables", for example.

  • But "to dislike" means to not like. Now, if you say: "I don't like Pizza."

  • And you say: "I dislike Pizza." These are a little bit different. Right? "Don't like"

  • or "not like" means you don't have a good feeling towards. But "dislike" means you actually

  • have a bad feeling towards. Right? So, this is a little bit more active. You're away from liking it.

  • You're actually having a bad feeling for it. "Unlike" has absolutely no connection

  • to "dislike". "Unlike" means not similar to. This is the preposition "like", "A" is like "B".

  • This is the verb "like", means to have a good feeling toward. So, concentrate on

  • the word you have. You have the verb, you have the preposition, and then decide which

  • prefix you want to join to it.

  • So, here, I have a few examples of words that can take two prefixes and have different meanings.

  • So, for example: "discover" and "uncover" are two completely different verbs. "To discover"

  • means to find by accident. You're walking along the beach, and you discover the skull,

  • the bone... Head bone of a dinosaur. You didn't look for it. You just found it. Okay?

  • You discovered it. So, it was hidden by nature, by time, and then you took away the cover

  • and there it is, the skull. "Uncover", on the other hand, means you were looking for

  • something and you found it.

  • So, you're a... I'm a reporter. I work for a major newspaper, and I think that this particular

  • politician is corrupt; he's lying to the people, he's stealing their money. So, I investigate.

  • And after my investigation, I uncover certain facts that will help the police put him in

  • jail. Not, not, not covered, not covered, means not hidden, but this one by accident,

  • time, nature hit it, I, by accident discovered it; "uncover" means I looked for, I found.

  • This one, or these two, I should say: "disinterested" and "uninterested". These are always mixed

  • up. You cannot use these two interchangeably; you have to use one or the other. I'll start

  • with "uninterested". ''Uninterested'' means indifferent, don't care. It's boring. I'm uninterested.

  • I don't want to know. Leave me alone. "Disinterested" means impartial, means you're not... You don't

  • have a reason to take one side or the other. Okay? So, again, I'm the reporter. I have

  • nothing to gain or lose by finding out information about this politician. I am a disinterested

  • party. I am objective. Okay? I am not involved in the situation. I'm just reporting the facts.

  • Here, I don't care; here, I'm not part of the situation.

  • Now, you also think: "Well, these two are kind of weird. There are two different words here."

  • Right? But you have a "discomfort", you are "uncomfortable". That's a little strange.

  • This is a noun, this is an adjective. You go to the doctor, you complain of a discomfort in your side.

  • But if you sit and somebody left a pen on your chair, oh, a little uncomfortable.

  • You're not... You know, you want to get up and see what's going on there. A discomfort

  • is like a real thing, probably inside. Uncomfortable, you can fix somehow.

  • "Disable", okay? We're going to look at the verb, "disable". Means make not able. Take

  • away the ability of something. So, you have a machine running. You think: "Oh, it's a

  • little bit dangerous." You don't want anybody to use it, so you disable it. You disconnect

  • the fuse. Now, nobody can come and use this machine. It has been disabled. We say about

  • a person if he or she is disabled, usually they're in a wheelchair, they had an accident

  • or they were born with a problem. They are not able. "Unable" means can't. I am unable

  • to help you because I just don't know. Okay? "Unable", "disable".

  • We're going to come back to this bottom one, here. So, that's a few things. Oh, a couple

  • more. "Disorganized", "unorganized". Usually, you would say about a person: "He or she is

  • disorganized." He has things everywhere or she has things everywhere; it's a big mess.

  • But the office or the room of this person is unorganized. So, we talk about an organization,

  • or a company, or an association, or a place that is unorganized. We talk about a person

  • being disorganized. I'm going to come back to these.

  • So, now, we know, "dis", "un", depends on the word you're using. Same goes for these

  • ones. Right? For example, "non", "non", there are not that many words. You have a "nonpayment".

  • Okay? You bought something, it's non-refundable. Keep in mind sometimes you will have a hyphen,

  • sometimes you will not. How do you know? Check the dictionary. Again, not really any rule

  • here. Some dictionaries, like American dictionaries will put like a hyphen, British ones won't.

  • Depends what you need, that's what you'll use.

  • "In", "im", same thing, especially with "il", "ir", they're all exact same. They also mean

  • not, or opposite, or lack. We usually use "im" with words that begin with a "b", "m",

  • or a "p". Now, the thing about "in" or "im", you have to be careful about it. They don't

  • only mean not; they have other meanings. For example, it could mean to put something into,

  • or show direction towards the inside of something. Right?

  • So, for example, "immigrate" means migrate into a country. So, come... Or come into a

  • country, I should say, sorry. "Migrate" move, "im", into. Move into a country. "Inflame",

  • so this is another use of the prefix "in". Means to cause, to be, or to make. Right?

  • So, you inflame, you make it... The flame, you make it more of a flame, you intensify it.

  • Sorry, intensify. So, there's a... Somebody's having a fight, you want to inflame it. You

  • give them both reasons to fight more. You inflame the product, the situation. So, "in"

  • and "im" not only mean "not", they also mean "toward" or "to cause". So, be careful.

  • "Il" and "ir" we use with words that begin with "l" or "r". For example, "illogical",

  • "irrelevant". Going back to "im", "b", "m", "p". "Imbalanced", "immaterial", "impossible".

  • I'm using adjectives. You're not limited to adjectives. There could be other things. For

  • example, "immigration" is a noun. "Immigrate" is a verb. I'm still using the "im". So be

  • careful about these. And the "non", "nonpayment", "non-refundable".

  • Now, there is another situation. "Mis", I know this is not on my list, this is a different

  • prefix. But many people think that "mis" means "not". It doesn't. "Mis" means wrongly, in

  • a wrong way. So, "inappropriate" means not appropriate, not proper, not correct. "Misapproriate",

  • "inappropriate", "misappropriate", this word and this word are two different words. This

  • is an adjective, means correct or proper. "Appropriate" is a verb, means take. If you

  • misappropriate, you take something in a dishonest way, in a wrong way. Okay? So, be very careful

  • about "mis". And make sure you understand which word you are using before you add your prefix.

  • Now, we're getting to the gist of the lesson, we're getting to the main point. How do you

  • know, and what if you don't know which prefix to use? So, for example, "unsecure", "insecure".

  • "Insecure" generally, we talk about a person... A person's attitude toward him or herself.

  • If someone is insecure, means they lack confidence; they're not confident. They don't have the

  • self-security. "Unsecure" means not safe. Now, if you're talking about a computer that

  • doesn't have an anti-virus, it's unsecure. It doesn't have a firewall, it's unsecure.

  • If you attach a picture to the wall... For example, this, this whiteboard is secured

  • to the wall. If I take out the screws, it might fall over, it would be unsecure.

  • But many people feel this word is uncomfortable, it just doesn't sound right, "unsecure". If

  • you're not sure, use the two words. Say: "Not secure". If this word, "unsecure" doesn't

  • feel correct, don't use it. Use "not secure". Tell me the meaning of this. Okay? Don't worry

  • about the word itself if you don't like it.

  • Which, brings us, again, to the main point: how do you know? Well, you have to feel.

  • You have to feel the language, you have to feel which word sounds correct or not. Now, this

  • is especially important in writing. In spoken English, if you say: "Dispossible", people

  • will look at you a little bit strange, but they will understand what you're saying. In

  • writing, they will look at it and try to figure out what's going on; they'll get confused.

  • In writing, it's very important to use the right word, the correct word. You have to feel it.

  • Now, how do you feel which word is correct and which word is not? Read. Read a lot, a

  • lot, a lot, a lot. This is where you get to feel the language. For example, if you read

  • 100 books by 100 different authors, all of them will use "imbalanced". Nobody will use

  • "disbalanced". Some might use "unbalanced". Okay? So, you're free to use one or the other.

  • Okay? "Immaterial", everybody will use "immaterial" or "not material". "Immaterial", by the way,

  • means not important, not relevant. Same as "irrelevant", "immaterial", synonyms. Okay?

  • So, now, personally, I recommend reading novels. Why? Because the authors of novels, technically,

  • should have a very strong command of grammar. They spend a lot of time thinking about every

  • word they use, and they have editors, who also check every word they use. So, novels

  • get you... Really play with the language and really help you get this feel for the language.

  • But until you get that feeling, until that time comes, use a dictionary. Like anything

  • else, if you're not sure, check. The dictionary says like this, use it like that. If you're

  • in the middle of the test and you can't think of... You don't have a dictionary, you have

  • to write something, give it your best guess and hope for the best. But eventually, you

  • will know just by looking at it if it's right or wrong.

  • Okay, if you go to www.engvid.com, I put a quiz there that will test your knowledge of

  • some of these words with their prefixes. A couple little surprise ones for you as well.

  • Also, don't forget to subscribe to my channel on YouTube. And ask any questions you'd like,

  • and I'll get back to you as soon as I can. Thanks.

Hi. Welcome back to www.engvid.com. I'm Adam. Today's lesson is a bit of a strange lesson.

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A2 US prefix im immaterial uncover dictionary correct

English Grammar: Negative Prefixes - "un", "dis", "in", "im", "non"

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    Chris posted on 2015/02/18
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