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    • Join Date: Oct 2007
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    Question inqury

    what's the differrence among un-,in,non,dis?

    • Join Date: Sep 2007
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    Re: inqury

    Quote Originally Posted by susanysx1 View Post
    what's the differrence among un-,in,non,dis?
    They are all prefixes that mean not

    reliable ---> unreliable (not reliable)
    conclusive ---> inconclusive (not conclusive)
    ferrous ---> nonferrous (not an iron metal)
    satisfied ---> dissatisfied (not satisfied)

    There are a few more "not" prefixes that you have not mentioned here such as :

    a, theist ---> atheist (not a believer in god)
    im, possible ---> impossible (not possible)
    il, legal ---> illegal (not legal)
    ir, responsible ---> irresponsible (not responsible)

    There is no difference in meaning in the prefixes but you cannot use them on different words.

    for example:

    impossible is correct

    nonpossible, unpossible, apossible, inpossible, dispossible, ilpossible and irpossible are all incorrect. (not correct)

    There are basically no rules about which "not" belongs to which word unfortunately. To a native English speakers ear the correct one sounds right to us...but that doesn't help you I'm afraid. You basically must memorize the correct combinations.

    I hope this helps.


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