Results 1 to 2 of 2
  1. Newbie
    Student or Learner

    • Join Date: Aug 2010
    • Posts: 5
    #1

    Using in- or un- in Opposites

    To oppisite a word, we use in- and un- ..

    for example , the oppsite of competent is incompetent , and ambitious is unambitious ..

    Ok, when do I use in- and when do I use un- ?why dont we say uncompetent or inambitious ?

    is there a grammatical rule for that ?

  2. emsr2d2's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • UK

    • Join Date: Jul 2009
    • Posts: 41,873
    #2

    Re: Using in- or un- in Opposites

    Quote Originally Posted by AR MK View Post
    To make the opposite of a word, we use in- and un-.

    For example, the opposite of competent is incompetent, and of ambitious it's unambitious.

    Ok, when do I use in- and when do I use un-? Why don't we say uncompetent or inambitious?

    Is there a grammatical rule for that?
    Sadly, I'm afraid the answer is you just have to learn them! I have never discovered a rule for them. Also, there are other prefixes to incorporate too.

    Happy - unhappy
    Articulate - inarticulate
    Proportionate - disproportionate
    Clean - unclean
    Appropriate - inappropriate
    Typical - atypical

    I suggest that each time you come across a new adjective, immediately look up the opposite and try to learn it at the same time.


    Additional note: Take care with your capitalisation and punctuation. See my amendments in red of your original post.

Similar Threads

  1. [Vocabulary] The opposites?
    By maral55 in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 20-Jan-2010, 13:53
  2. Opposites
    By Desmond Tauro in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 21-Aug-2007, 12:24
  3. opposites
    By daisy1352 in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 11-Nov-2006, 16:34
  4. opposites
    By Mikimouse in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 18-Mar-2006, 02:53
  5. opposites?
    By anonymos in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 29-Jan-2006, 00:22

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •