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Hi everybody, and welcome back to EnglishClass101.com! My name is Alisha, and today I'm going to talk about some common prefixes in the negative.
So these are common prefixes but they all create a negative meaning in the word they're attached to. So maybe you saw our last video about prefixes, or maybe you saw our other videos about prefixes, but to remind you, a prefix is usually kind of a small word, it looks like a small word, but there are letters that are added to the beginning of a word to change the meaning of the word. So maybe it's two, three, four letters, it seems like a small word, attached to the beginning of another word and it changes the meaning. So in other lessons we've talked about some prefixes which have a lot of different meanings, but today I'm going to focus on prefixes which create a negative meaning, or a "not" meaning in the words that they are attached to, and we'll also talk about some of the histories of these words and find out a little bit about why they mean what they mean. So let's begin!
Let's talk about the first negative prefix!
ILL. We pronounce it as ill-. So when we add ill- to a word it creates the meaning of "not" plus that word. The first word is illogical. Logical is the base here, meaning having logic or having a reason behind it, illogical, therefore, means not logical. If you're Star Trek fan, you might have heard Spock say this to any number of characters in the show, he would say highly illogical.
Illogical means not logical, it's not a reasonable decision, for example.
Illogical, not logical.
Another one is illegal.
So legal here means following the law, legal is something we are allowed to do in our country or in our community; illegal means not legal, so for example, owning a gun is illegal in some countries, or killing people is illegal, these are things that are against the law, not legal, illegal.
Okay, one more example, ill-advised.
So ill-advised means not well advised, it's not a good idea, an ill-advised decision, a poorly advised decision. So this ill- means not good or a negatively advised decision here. An ill-advised choice, an ill-advised plan, for example. These all mean "not" plus the word that they're attached to.
Okay, let's continue to the next one, also a negative, the next one is im-.
Im is the pronunciation. Let's look at the first one, impossible.
So possible means able to do something or it's possible to do; impossible means we cannot do that thing, it is not possible, not able to do something. Impossible. So this is a very common word.
It's impossible to go to space without a space suit, for example.
Okay, let's look at one more, imperfect.
So perfect means no flaws, perfect means there's nothing else to do, it's complete on its own, something which is fine. So imperfect means not perfect, not perfect, this is an imperfect solution, an imperfect dinner, for example. Something that is not perfect is imperfect.
Okay, one more, this word is impeccable.
Now, this is an interesting word, this root part "peccable," this "peck" part comes from a Latin word which means "to sin." So "to sin" plus we have this "able" part, which means able to, and we have this word, "peck," which refers to the Latin meaning"sin" or"to do a bad behavior," then we finally have im- here, meaning "not," so in other words, not able to sin or not able to do something bad. In modern English, impeccable means flawless or perfect or really really nice, something that's very very good is impeccable.
So for example, she speaks French impeccably, perfectly, flawlessly, beautifully; or this was an impeccable lunch. This is usually used in situations where something is really really high quality or really good. Impeccable.
So this is an interesting word with this Im- prefix attached.
Okay, let's look at some more. Next, let's go to in-.
We attach in- to make words have the opposite meaning. So next, indistinguishable.
So here, again, we have "able," we saw in "impeccable," too, right? So "able" meaning able to do something, plus we have "distinguish," so distinguished means we can understand the differences between two things, two or more things, to distinguish something, and able to distinguish something. Here, with in- we see not able to distinguish, or not able to understand the differences between two things. So the word indistinguishable, when comparing two objects, or two or more of something, we can't tell, we don't know the difference between these things, they are indistinguishable.
So, for example, the breads that I bought at the store, although they were from different brands were indistinguishable, in terms of taste, they had the same taste; or those two buildings are indistinguishable, they look exactly the same.
Okay, let's look at another one, indeterminate.
So determine, this the root here, would be determined, so to fix or to decide to determine something, usually like a date or a deadline or an amount of something, to determine something. However, in- means "not," so not determined. This is used for something that has not been chosen, not been decided. So an indeterminate number of people, or an indeterminate amount of time, so a time that has not been decided, a number of people that have not been decided, is indeterminate.
Okay, one more, the word invincible.
Maybe you know this word, so this part we see in-, the prefix meaning "not," and then vincible. Here, again, we have this -ble, in this case we have -ible, but you can see "able" and "ible" here, they have kind of the same sound, yeah? They both refer to the ability to do something.
So, we also have this "vinc-" right here, this comes from the Latin word, a Latin word which means "to be conquered," so to be able to be conquered is essentially what's happening here, able to be conquered. However, in- being attached means not able to be conquered, invincible.
So if you play video games, for example, you know that in some cases there's like a special bonus, like, when mario gets a star, he becomes invincible, you cannot kill him, you cannot conquer him. Invincible. This is the word, the meaning, the Latin roots of the word invincible.
Okay, let's go to the next one, ir-.
Ir- is the pronunciation, it sounds like the body part "ear." Irresponsible, for example, is our first one. So "responsible" here, responsible meaning can take care of tasks, can do the things you are supposed to do; someone who is responsible can be relied on, for example. So irresponsible means not responsible, like, my coworker is so irresponsible, he never comes to work on time, or my roommate is so irresponsible, I have to wash all the dishes.
Irresponsible, not responsible.
Okay, another word, irredeemable.
So, again, we see this "able" ending, able meaning able to, and redeem. So redeem, we can use, for example, with, like, a coupon or some kind of bonus at like a supermarket or at a store or something. So to redeem something means to receive something in exchange for something else. So, like, to redeem yourself to your boss, so you do something and you get favor from your boss. Or in the case of shopping, you could say I want to redeem a coupon for a special product, for example. So you do something in exchange for, usually, something positive. So redeemable means able to do that, able to get kind of that positive benefit from something. But we have the negative ir- at the beginning, irredeemable, so something that we cannot redeem.
So this coupon is irredeemable, we cannot use it, or this was an irredeemable offense, so someone does something and they cannot redeem themselves in the future. Irredeemable.
So the last example here is irrespective. We see that the base here is "respect," maybe, respect, so irrespective is used when we want to say without respect for something else so we don't respect something or someone does not respect an established standard, or an established order, for example.
So for example, in a sentence we might say, he challenged the boss irrespective of the company hierarchy, so not respecting the company hierarchy. Or this list is irrespective of the company's standards, for example. So not respecting something else.
Okay, let's go to our final prefix for today, non-.
So we attach non- to some words to make the meaning of "not." First one is non-sequential. So here we see "sequential" at the end here, with this kind of base, sequence, so sequence means in order, in a sequence of something. However, non- means not in sequence, non-sequential.
So for example, participant numbers are listed in non-sequential order.
Or for example, let's see, salaries are listed in non-sequential order.
So sequential means in sequence, in a specific, usually, numerical or chronological, by time order. Non-sequential means that they're not in order from 1 to 10, for example. They're separated, non-sequential, not in sequence.
Similar-sounding is this word, non-sequitur.
Non-sequitur, this is actually from a Latin phrase which means it does not follow, non-sequitur. So here we see this "sequit" again which we saw in sequential, this root word means to follow something else. So a non-sequitur as a noun is usually, like, a statement or some kind of behavior that doesn't seem to quite match the other behaviors around it, or it doesn't seem to follow a conversation.
So for example, a non-sequitur comment could be a comment completely unrelated to a conversation, or a non-sequitur action, for example, something completely unrelated to the situation at hand. So maybe I make a lot of non-sequitur comments in the Top Words series.
Okay, so this is an interesting word, non-sequitur, it does not follow, so something which does not quite follow the things happening around it.
Finally, let's look at the word nonsense.
So "sense," kind of going back to this word "logic." So sense means something we can understand or something which seems logical, but nonsense means there's no sense, there is no way to understand it, it's something that's very difficult or impossible to understand. So nonsense, like, my co-workers idea was nonsense, it was impossible to understand, there was no sense about it. This is the word that we can use with non-, non- and sense together.
Okay, so these are a few different prefixes that we can use to make negative words. All of these prefixes here will make a word negative, please be careful, you cannot mix and match these prefixes with different words, these are set phrases. For example, we cannot say ill-possible, we cannot say im-legal, for example. You have to study these as they are, you can't just choose the prefix that you prefer. But if you see these prefixes attached to a word, now you can probably guess the meaning or at least part of the meaning, so I hope that that's useful for you. Thanks very much for watching this episode and I will see you again soon. Bye!