1. The suffix ‘-proof’ adds the meaning ‘protected against’. Which of these is not a common use of ‘-proof’?
2. The suffix ‘-phobe’ adds the meaning ‘a person who fears something’ – for example an arachnophobe is a person who fears spiders. But what would a lover of spiders be called?
3. In many cases a prefix added to a word gives it the opposite meaning, for example happy and unhappy. However, in some cases, prefixes can be misleading. All but one of these pairs of words have the same meaning. Which pair does not have the same meaning?
a) flammable and inflammable
b) press and depress
c) habitable and inhabitable
d) valuable and invaluable
4. English has several suffixes which mean ‘having a quality close to…’ Which of these suffixes cannot be used in this way?
a) ‘-ly’ My horse is not exactly quick…more like quickly.
b) ‘esque’ Well, it’s no Kafka, but I’ll admit that it’s Kafkaesque.
c) ‘y’ It’s not fruity, but it’s quite fruity!
d) ‘ish’ You are acting like a child. Don’t be so childish.
5. Many prefixes relate to the quantity or quality of something, which can be more than or less than. Which of these relates to being of greater quantity or quality?
a) ‘arch’ – archenemy
b) ‘micro’ – microchip
c) ‘sub’ – subpar
d) ‘under’ – undercooked
6. Several prefixes communicate a quantity in numbers, telling us how much or how many as well as the meaning of the root word. Which of these does not relate to a number?
a) ‘mono’ – I want to take the new monorail they have just built.
b) ‘tri’ – He’s going to be doing a triathlon this summer.
c) ‘poly’ – She’s a bit of a polyglot. She speaks so many languages.
d) ‘omni’ – Many humans are omnivores. They eat meat and vegetation.
1) d, 2) a, 3) d, 4) a, 5) a, 6) d.