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  1. #1
    manar222 is offline Newbie
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    Default " un " and "in " prefix ,,,why

    hellooooooo members

    what is the rule that governs " in and un " prefix

    like sometimes i say " incorrect " and sometimes i forget and say
    " uncorrect "

    so why it's " in" and not "un "

    i feel that it has to do with phonology

    ....................

    another Q

    when we pronounce g as / g/ and when as / dg/

    i want the general rule regradless the expetions

    and thanx a lot

  2. #2
    mara_ce's Avatar
    mara_ce is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: " un " and "in " prefix ,,,why

    Quote Originally Posted by manar222 View Post
    hellooooooo members

    what is the rule that governs " in and un " prefix

    like sometimes i say " incorrect " and sometimes i forget and say
    " uncorrect "

    so why it's " in" and not "un "

    i feel that it has to do with phonology
    Words which start with 'm' or 'p' take the prefix 'im-' (impatient)
    Words which start with 'r' take 'ir-' (irresponsible)
    Words which start with 'l' take 'il-' (illegitimate)

    There are a couple of prefixes which can change verbs, these are 'un-' and 'dis-'.
    For example, disagree, disappear, disprove, undo, and undress.
    The best way to learn these is to make a note of them when you learn a new word.


    another Q

    when we pronounce g as / g/ and when as / dg/

    i want the general rule regradless the exceptions
    /g/ is regularly spelt g, gg, e.g. “hunger, big, struggle, juggling” ; sometimes gh, gu, e.g. “ghost, guard, dinghy”; g is silent in gnaw, gnat, diaphragm, sign, reign.

    /ʤ /is spelt j, g, dg, sometimes gg, dj, de, di, ch, e.g. “jam, gem, midget, suggest, adjacent, grandeur, soldier, Norwich”.



    and thanx a lot
    m.

  3. #3
    manar222 is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: " un " and "in " prefix ,,,why

    Quote Originally Posted by mara_ce View Post
    m.

    but for the last Q , actually i mean why sometimes we pronounce the g as /g/ and sometimes like j sound

    some peple say that if the g is followed by ( e, i , y ) we pronounce it as j sound otherwise we pronounce it as /g/

    is that right ?? or is there any one else ??

    and thanx a lot

  4. #4
    mara_ce's Avatar
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    Default Re: " un " and "in " prefix ,,,why

    Quote Originally Posted by manar222 View Post
    some people say that if the g is followed by ( e, i , y ) we pronounce it as j sound otherwise we pronounce it as /g/
    “ge” is generally pronounced “j”. Exceptions: gestalt, Gestapo, get, gear, geld, etc. (Check with the dictionary.)
    “gi” is generally pronounced “g”. Exceptions: giant, gibber, giblets, gin, ginger, gipsy, etc.
    “gy” is pronounced "j”. Exception: the prefix “gyn-“.

  5. #5
    Barb_D's Avatar
    Barb_D is offline Moderator
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    Default Re: " un " and "in " prefix ,,,why

    Quote Originally Posted by mara_ce View Post
    “ge” is generally pronounced “j”. Exceptions: gestalt, Gestapo, get, gear, geld, etc. (Check with the dictionary.)
    “gi” is generally pronounced “g”. Exceptions: giant, gibber, giblets, gin, ginger, gipsy, etc.
    “gy” is pronounced "j”. Exception: the prefix “gyn-“.

    mara -- get, gear, etc have the "guh" sound, not a J.
    the gi ones have the J sound, as with jump.
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

  6. #6
    mara_ce's Avatar
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    Default Re: " un " and "in " prefix ,,,why

    Quote Originally Posted by Barb_D View Post
    mara -- get, gear, etc have the "guh" sound, not a J.
    the gi ones have the J sound, as with jump.
    Yes, that´s why I said that they are exceptions.
    e.g. given /g/ giant /ʤ/
    get /g/ German /ʤ/

  7. #7
    Barb_D's Avatar
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    Default Re: " un " and "in " prefix ,,,why

    My apologies - somehow I missed that "exceptions"! Sorry!
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

  8. #8
    BobK's Avatar
    BobK is offline Harmless drudge
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    Default Re: " un " and "in " prefix ,,,why

    Quote Originally Posted by manar222 View Post
    hellooooooo members

    what is the rule that governs " in and un " prefix

    like sometimes i say " incorrect " and sometimes i forget and say
    " uncorrect "

    so why it's " in" and not "un "

    ...
    Interesting question. When you say 'the' rule, you're suggesting you know there is one! There is a general tendency, but the easier you make it to understand, the less accurate it is.

    For example Germanic roots take 'un-' whereas Latinate roots take 'in-' is more accurate than Long words take 'in-' whereas short words take 'un-'. The second version is easier to apply, but less accurate. The first is more accurate, but applying it depends on you knowing what 'Germanic' and 'Latinate' mean.

    But here are a couple of simple cases, that suit both wordings:

    'fair' [both Germanic and short] -> unfair
    'equitable' [both Latinate and long] -> inequitable

    'ending' [both Germanic and short] -> unending
    'terminable' [both Latinate and long] -> interminable



    Here's a case that fits the first but not the second:

    'believable' [Germanic, but longer] -> unbelievable
    'credible' [Latinate but shorter] -> incredible


    So, the more work you do in understanding where words came from, the more accurately you can guess whether to use 'in-' (which becomes 'im-' 'ir-' or 'il-' as explained in the first reply) or 'un-'. Your first language may help you guess (more so if it's French or Spanish than if it's Chinese!)

    b

  9. #9
    BobK's Avatar
    BobK is offline Harmless drudge
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    Default Re: " un " and "in " prefix ,,,why

    Quote Originally Posted by manar222 View Post
    wow thanx good explanation
    Not too good I hope - as Einstein said, 'an explanation should be as simple as possible, and no simpler' (exact words slip my mind).

    Reading what I wrote again, it sounds as if I was confident about that Germanic/Latinate 'rule'. Not so. I said 'For example.... more accurate'. Those two rules-of-thumb are just at relative positions on a 'continuum of accuracy'. The nearer the accurate end you get, the more complexity. Sorry - that's the way it is. Any rule like this is not a tool for learners

    The Germanic//Latinate thing breaks down when (among other exceptions) a word pre-dates both of those sources. For example, 'sure' is related both to sicher and to securus. It would be better (but not best!) to say 'Words derived from Latin often take in-, words formed earlier tend to take un-' - so 'unsure' but 'insecure'. And there are ways to recognize a word that wasn't derived from Latin; one way is to look at the spelling - for example, Latin didn't have a w. So if a word has a w in it, it will take 'un-': 'unwilling' but 'involuntary'. Looked at from the other end, if a word has a silent '-gh-', it's not derived from Latin, so 'unsought' [='not looked for']. But there are too many details to remember if you wanted to use derivation as a learning aid; by the time you'd learnt them all, you'd have learnt the language anyway; and you'd speak it better if your brain wasn't full of 'rules'!

    Besides, people make new words, mixing 'un-' and 'in-' at will. Take a word like 'unclear' - which was formed quite recently. The root word is related both to klar and to clarus, so un- 'fits' better. But there's nothing to stop a neologizer (I think I just made that up - it's a person who makes up new words ) using whatever prefix s/he wants.

    b

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