1. Conversion: one part of speech ? another
He is going to stop in Britain for a couple of days.
It’s only three stops form here to the campus.
My mother loves me very much.
She mothers her baby sister.
to shoulder/elbow one’s way
2. Derivation: also affixation, by which a new word is formed through adding a prefix or a
large ? enlarge, happy ? unhappy, understand ? misunderstand; wonder ? wonderful,
dark ? darkness, teach ? teacher, quick ?quickly
3. Compounding: also composition, a process of conjoining two or more words to form a new
basketball, airport, go-between, out-of-door; blackbird, darkroom, greenhouse, etc. 4. Abbreviation: to form a new word by shortening a longer one.
*Clipping: cutting part of a longer word.
omnibus ? bus bicycle ? bike
taxicab ? taxi gymnasium ? gym
refrigerator ?fridge influenza ? flu
*Initials and Acronyms: words made out of the initial letters of each of the word in the
phrase or a title of an organization or a country. The difference lies in that initials
are read letter by letter while acronyms are pronounced as independent words.
#UN ? the United Nations
WTO ? World Trade Organization
UFO ? unidentified flying object
#UNESCO ? United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization
AIDS ? acquired immune deficiency syndrome
laser ? light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation
*Blending: combination of parts of two words.
smog = smoke + fog motel = motor + hotel
medicare = medical + care hi-tech = high + technology
anecdotage = anecdote + dotage Eurasia = Europe + Asia 5. Neologism: also “new coinage”, the creation of new words to denote new objects or ideas.
*Modern science and technology: software, hardware, internet, e-mail, cyber shopping;
*Industry: Coca Cola, Pepsi, Kodak, Xerox;
*Politics and government: EU - the European Union
APEC – Asian-Pacific Economic Cooperation
6. *Back formation & Borrowing
1. Prefixes that change the part of speech of words.
*en-: added to adjectives or nouns, which means to put or get into, to cause to be
You will endanger your health if you work so hard.
The collapse of the strike enabled the company to resume normal bus services.
The discovery of oil will enrich the nation.
I cannot ensure his being there in time.
#encage entrain entrap encase enplane enchain
encave enthrone encloud
#enlarge endanger ensphere enrage
encircle endear ennoble enrich
enable encourage enslave ensky
*de- : added to nouns, which means the opposite to the original meaning of the nouns.
The engine was derailed. Don’t let the meat defrost too quickly.
His face was deformed in an accident. It’s wicked to defame others.
#dewater degrade degum demist dehydrate deice
devalue decode desalt deface deforest decolor
decamp deflower degas de-oil depollution defog
*be- : added to nouns or adjectives, which means to become, to decorate by, or to the side of
He befriended me when I was young.
The king was beheaded for his tyranny. Don’t belittle yourself.
#becalm befool bedim bedevil bepowder bejewel
becloud bedew beside below before behind
*a-: added to nouns or descriptive verbs to form adjectives, which means “in, at, on, to, by,
with, of and into” etc.
He is asleep. The whole city is ablaze with lights.
He is ill abed. Help me get my boat afloat.
The smoke rose aloft.
#abuzz aglow aghast astir athirst agaze
afire ahead aside abreast afoot ashore
afield atop aground aback apart aslant
*out-: added to nouns or adjectives to form verbs or adjective and adverbs, which means to
surpass or not inside.
#outdistance outwit outrank outpace outnumber
outsmart outside outdoor out-city
**when the “out” in a verb phrase is used as a prefix and added to the verb in the phrase, then the verb becomes a noun, which has almost the same meaning with the verb phrase.
#break out ? outbreak
burst out ? outburst
come out ? outcome
put out ? output
let out ? outlet
go out ? outgo