Vocabulary: Word Formation Exercises

Extract adapted for interactive practice from the book Clearing the Thick Woods of Word Formation, which provides you with extensive practice and explanations.

Art Vazquez, COTE


Infinitives | Antonyms | Synonyms | Vocabulary | Analogies | Paraphrase

The good news:

Variety of vocabulary makes your speech and writing very interesting.

The bad news:

All the vocabulary you learn must be memorized.

The remedy:

Target five words, their spelling, meaning and definition, per week.

Study this topic in this book: 1001 Vocabulary and Spelling Questions

The rules:

Rule Number 1: Words comply with no rules.

Rule Number 2: Never Skip Rule Number 1.

Extra help can be found at: Clearing the Thick Woods of Word Formation

This exercise focuses on people and their jobs using the most common suffixes. Use the word in bold to form the noun which refers to the person who does that job. You can consult your score at the bottom of the page. Type the word in the box to cheat your answer.

1. A person who acts for a living is called an .

2. A is someone who earns money from writing music.

3. She didn't become famous as a  until her 17th novel was published.

4. In Part 5 of the FCE Exam your speaking ability will be assessed by the  .

5. At the end of the interview the  asked if he could be shown around the company.

6. The waiter asked the  if she would help him deal with a difficult customer.

7. An  is someone who will be able to go through your accounts and work out how much money you have.

8.  to the castle are expected to come only during visiting times .

This exercise looks at forming nouns from verbs, nouns and adjectives by using suffixes. Write the correct form of the word in the space.

1. My teacher says there has been a big (IMPROVE)in my English lately.

2. The recipe says you only need to add two (SPOON)of salt.

3. Why did you do that? I thought you had more (INTELLIGENT)than that.

4. The singer gave a brilliant (PERFORM)on stage yesterday.

5. Have you seen her magazine (COLLECT)She must have over 200 editions.

6. On hearing the news, everyone was overcome with a feeling of (SAD).

7. When you take the FCE Speaking paper you will be given marks for your (ACCURATE)and also on how fluent you are.

8. She has the (ABLE)to pass the exam first time round providing she works hard.

This exercise focuses on the common prefixes and suffixes used to form opposite words. Choose the correct prefix or suffix to form the opposite of the word in CAPITALS. (in- im- il- un- -less dis- ir- )

1. When he became a teenager, he wanted to be more (DEPENDENT)from his parents.

2 It was really (HONEST)of you to take that money without asking.

3. If you hadn't been so (CARE)with that book you'd still have it now.

4. My broken leg means I'll be (ABLE)to go on holiday with you.

5 In many countries it is (LEGAL)to smoke cigarettes under the age of 16.

6 He waited (PATIENTLY)for the train to arrive at the station.

7. The teacher told me it was (RESPONSIBLE)of me to set off the fire alarm.

Your score:

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