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ESL forum > Techniques and methods in Language Teaching > UN-words.    


United Kingdom

Dear Members,
I was talking, (in English), with a student today, and he was struggling to find a word which was the opposite of the Adjective, ´necessary ´. Eventually, he chose, ´not necessary ´.
I explained that the opposite of ´necessary ´ is ´unnecessary ´.
With approximately 2,000 ´UN Adjectives ´, it is possible to form the negative/opposite/reverse of many words, (but not ALL), simply by adding ´un ´ at the beginning of the word.
EXAMPLES:  Able = Unable   Believable = Unbelievable   Certain = Uncertain   Desirable = Undesirable   Easy = Uneasy   Friendly = Unfriendly   Godly = Ungodly   Helpful = Unhelpful   Important = Unimportant   Just = Unjust   Kind = Unkind   Loved = Unloved   Married = Unmarried   Natural = Unnatural   Official = Unofficial   Pleasant = Unpleasant   Qualified = Unqualified   Real = Unreal   Successful = Unsuccessful   Tidy = Untidy   Used = Unused   Varnished = Unvarnished   Wanted = Unwanted   Yielding = Unyielding   Zipped = Unzipped
So, Members, (especially the young beginners), if you are searching for the opposite of an Adjective, (and sometimes a Verb ... undo, unmake, unzip, etc. or an Adverb ... unhappily, untidily, unwisely, etc.), try saying it with ´UN ´ at the beginning. Frequently, you will be correct! And even if it is NOT correct, the English person will probably guess what you are trying to say, and understand.
"Hello, Teacher, I am sorry, but my dog is very unclever!" "Oh, you mean your dog is unintelligent?" "Yes, Teacher! He is unintelligent. Sometimes, he is very silly!"
You see what I mean?
Good luck!
Les Douglas 

22 May 2017      

maryse peyé

Hi Les,
Is it unbelievable to believe that you love unpacking for us unexpected truth about unique (oh no ! it does not work for this one !) and simple grammar tips ? Go away uncertainty for the only reason you will not stay for long undiscovered !
Thanks for your precious Tools dear friend.

22 May 2017     

United States

Les is definitely more!

22 May 2017     

United Kingdom

Yep, Le ´s hear more from him! 

23 May 2017     


thanx a lot your posts are very helpful!

23 May 2017     

United States

Completely agree with Maryse, what you going to change, if you telling same things year after year? When i ordered essay, because i was lazy to do my homework, i found out much more, than on all knowledges from school.

1 Sep 2017