Unit 1: Nice to meet you!
Select a unit
- 1 Nice to meet you!
- 2 What to wear
- 3 Like this, like that
- 4 The daily grind
- 5 Christmas every day
- 6 Great achievers
- 7 The Titanic
- 8 Travel
- 9 The big wedding
- 10 Sunny's job hunt
- 11 The bucket list
- 12 Moving and migration
- 13 Welcome to BBC Broadcasting House
- 14 New Year, New Project
- 15 From Handel to Hendrix
- 16 What's the weather like?
- 17 The Digital Revolution
- 18 A detective story
- 19 A place to live
- 20 The Cult of Celebrity
- 21 Welcome to your new job
- 22 Beyond the planets
- 23 Great expectations!
- 24 Eco-tourism
- 25 Moving house
- 26 It must be love
- 27 Job hunting success... and failure
- 28 Speeding into the future
- 29 Lost arts
- 30 Tales of survival
This is the first unit of our lower-intermediate course - so we'll go easy on you. Over the next few sessions, you'll meet some of our presenters, learn some informal ways of saying 'hello' and practise question forms. In session 5, you can join our new 10-part drama, 'The Race'. Afterwards, you can see how much you remember from the unit with our Weekly Quiz.
In this episode, Finn and Alice look at a very important part of word building – suffixes.
Listen to the audio
Hello and welcome to 6 Minute Vocabulary. I’m Finn...
And I’m Alice. Today we’re looking at a very important part of word building – suffixes.
Suffixes. We’ll look at what they are, what they mean and how to use them.
There’ll be a quiz…
And we’ll leave you with a top tip for learning vocabulary.
So: to start off, we’re going to listen to Andrea and Steve who work in a bank. They have just interviewed two people who want to work there.
And here’s a question to think about while you listen: who did Andrea and Steve like best - the first person or the second person?
Who did they like best? Let’s find out.
What do you think then Steve?
Well, the first one was very excitable: he kept laughing and speaking fast.
Perhaps it was just nervousness, but there’s no room for that in this business.
No. Now I thought the second interviewee seemed a bit more responsible.
Yes, she did – very important when dealing with money. And she was polite.
Politeness is essential in this job.
Absolutely. Well, I think we both know which one is more employable.
So, that’s Steve and Andrea. And we asked you: who did they like best?
And the answer is: they definitely liked the second person best. The second one was polite and responsible. The first one was a bit too excitable.
That’s right, and excitable is a key word in the show today because it ends in a suffix.
Now in the world of vocabulary, a suffix is a group of letters that you can add to the end of a word to change its form, or meaning, or both.
For example, the word excitable has the suffix -able, spelt a-b-l-e. -able makes verbs into adjectives, and we use –able words to say that a subject can do something – is able to do something - or they behave in a particular way.
So if we take the verb excite, add the suffix -able, we can say that the first interviewee was excitable, meaning: he can get very excited.
And the second one was responsible, that’s responsible with –ible, spelt ‘i-b-l-e’. She can be trusted to do the right thing. And that’s why she was more employable, now that's -able with an a again.
Now for another suffix. Andrea and Steve talked about two interviewees. The suffix –ee, spelt e-e, makes a noun which means ‘the person who receives an action’.
For example, if you add –ee to interview, you get the person who receives an interview, an interviewee.
You’re listening to BBC Learning English dot com.
And we’re talking about suffixes. Our final suffix for today is –ness, spelt n-e-s-s. Adding –ness to an adjective makes a noun.
That’s right, and interviewee number one suffered from nervousness – the noun form of nervous.
But number two understood the importance of politeness – the noun form of polite. Is politeness important to you Alice?
Oh yes Finn, politeness is very important to me.
I think you’re very polite. Now let’s listen to today’s suffixes and words again.
The first one was: -able with an a. a-b-l-e.
-ible withan i. i-b-l-e.
And it’s time for a quiz. Choose the correct suffix to complete the final words in these 2 sentences. Ready?
Number 1.The most important thing to me is my family’s… a) happy-ee b) happy-able, c) happiness.
This one is the noun form of happy, so it’s c) happiness.
Number 2. I’m learning how to do this job. I’m a a) trainee b) trainable, c) train-ness.
You are receiving training, so you’re a trainee.
Well done if you got those right.
And that brings us almost to the end of today’s programme.
But before we go, here’s today’s top tip for learning vocabulary: if you use an online dictionary, type a hyphen or a dash into the search box, and then type in any of today’s suffixes. The dictionary will give you a list of words that end with your suffix.
You know, that’s a really good tip: I think I might try that. There’s more about this at BBC learning English dot com. Join us again for more 6 Minute Vocabulary.
Vocabulary points to take away
Creates a noun meaning 'person who receives an action'.
Example words: interviewee, trainee, employee, refugee, absentee
Example sentence: My company has six thousand employees.
Creates an adjective meaning that the subject can do something OR that something can be done to it.
Example words: excitable, employable, pleasurable, enjoyable, loveable, readable, breakable, moveable
Example sentence: I didn’t like his last book – it wasn’t very readable.
A different spelling of -able.
Example words: responsible, visible, horrible, terrible
Example sentence: Stars are only visible at night.
Creates a noun which describes a quality or state.
Example words: happiness, nervousness, politeness, sadness, sickness, kindness, meaninglessness
Example sentence: He missed two days of work because of sickness.
End of Session 1
That’s the end of the first session. Join us in Session 2 where you will get to know our presenters even better, meet a new presenter and learn how to make questions.
In session 2 we look at how to form questions in English.
We explore yes / no questions and wh-questions.
creates a noun meaning 'person who receives an action'
creates an adjective meaning that the subject can do something OR that something can be done to it
a different spelling of -able
creates a noun which describes a quality of state