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WORD FORMATION PROCESSES

In English many words are formed from combinations of other words or from
combinations of other words and prefixes/suffixes.
Prefixes are added to the beginning of a word: un - + clear =unclear
Suffixes are added to the end of a word: green + -ish =greenish

Common types of prefixes and suffixes

1.uber-,- buster,-busting, -fest, -friendly, -gate, -impaired, -ista, -meister, -ville.


Eg.: an entertainment-meister is someone who is an expert in entertaining
people.

2.prefixes used in words that contain ideas to do with computers , technology,


environment: audio-, bio-, cyber-, eco-, geo-, radio-, techno-, tele-, video-.
Eg.:a big increase of cyber-crime (crime involving the use of computers)

3.suffixes used in words that refer to people who really want or like a
particular thing or are trying hard to get it:- aholic, -crazy,-hungry, -loving,
-mad, -mania, -phile, -seeking .
Eg.: sports-mad (enthusiastic about sports)

4.prefixes/suffixes used to make words negative or opposite words:a-,


contra-, counter-, de-, dis-, il-, im-, il-, ir-, mis-, non-, un-, -free, -less.
Eg.: non-toxic chemicals

5.affixes creating words that suggest that something is partly true: crypto-,
demi-, half-, near-, neo-, part-, pseudo-, quasi-, semi-.
Eg .: semi-independent region

6.affixes meaning having a lot of something, to a large degree: all-, arch-,


ever-, extra-, hyper-,mega-, multi-, pan-, ultra-, -infested, -intensive, -rich,
-ridden.
Eg.: an ultra-successful product

7.affixes meaning that something is done in a particular way or is like a


particular thing:-fashion, -like, -ly, -shaped, -style, -wise.
Eg.: moving-spider fashion(moving the way a spider moves), a heart-shaped
box of chocolates

8.new adjectives describing someone’s clothes, appearance, personality:-


boned, -cheeked , -clod, -coated, -eyed, -faced, -haired, -handed, -headed,
-hearted, legged, -limbed, -minded, -necked, -skinned, -sleeved, -tongued,
-waisted
Eg.: straw-hatted girls
Compounds are formed by combining two or more words : mailbox,
basketball, point of view , fifty-fifty.

Other processes:

1.Blends or Portmanteau Words(joining part of one word with part of other


word): brunch.

2.Clipping: Some words are new spellings of other words or informal


pronunciations: gonna(going to), fx(effects), pix(pictures).

3. Some words are formed from the first letters of the words in a compound or
phrase - acronym:
AIDS (auto immune deficiency syndrome)
FAQ(frequently asked questions)

4. Coinage – a word or phrase that has been invented recently; the process of
inventing a word or phrase

To coin something to invent a new word or phrase that other people then
begin to use
The term ‘cardboard city’ was coined to describe communities of homeless
people living in cardboard boxes.
He was the first to coin the motto ‘Make Love, Not War’.

to coin a phrase
- used to introduce a well-known expression that you have changed slightly in order
to be funny “Tasting is believing”, to coin a phrase! (= the usual phrase is ‘seeing is
believing’).
- used to show that you are aware that you are using an expression that is not new
Oh well, no news is good news, to coin a phrase.