Unit 6: Jurassic mystery: unpacking the past
Modals of deduction and speculation - present and past
Select a unit
- 1 Pop-ups
- 2 Hidden talents
- 3 Can't buy me love
- 4 Travellers' tales
- 5 The colleague from hell
- 6 Jurassic mystery: unpacking the past
- 7 Career changes
- 8 Art
- 9 Project management
- 10 The dog ate my homework!
- 11 The diary of a double agent
- 12 Fashion forward
- 13 Flat pack skyscrapers
- 14 Extreme sports
- 15 Food fads
- 16 Me, my selfie and I
- 17 Endangered animals
- 18 A nip and a tuck: cosmetic surgery
- 19 I'm really sorry...
- 20 Telling stories
- 21 Fakes and phrasals
- 22 Looking to the future
- 23 Becoming familiar with things
- 24 From rags to riches
- 25 Against the odds
- 26 Our future on Mars?
- 27 Where is it illegal to get a fish drunk?
- 28 Dodgy dating
- 29 Annoying advice
- 30 I'll have been studying English for thirty weeks
We're looking at the prefixes de-, dys-, and dis- in this unit. Join us for 6 Minute Vocabulary, and then do two activities to test your knowledge of prefixes!
Prefixes de-, dys-, and dis
Do you suffer from dyspepsia? Could a detox diet help? Do you always listen to your doctor or do you sometimes disagree? Neil and Finn talk about prefixes in this episode of 6 Minute Vocabulary.
Listen to the audio
Hello and welcome to 6 Minute Vocabulary. I’m Neil…
And I’m Finn. In this programme we’re looking at three prefixes: de-, spelt d-e, dys-, spelt d-y-s and dis-,spelt d-i-s.
Prefixes – or prefixes, as some people say - are two or three letters that go at the beginning of a word and affect its meaning.
We’ll look at what each prefix means and give you example sentences…
There’ll be a quiz …
…and we’ll leave you with a top tip for learning vocabulary.
But first, let’s listen to Gladys talking about her husband Bert.
While you listen, think about this question: Does Gladys agree with Bert’s doctor?
Bert’s dyspepsia, or indigestion, is quite bad at the moment. It’s causing him quite a bit of discomfort. The doctor says it’s because he eats too much fatty food. She says the symptoms would disappear if Bert went on a detox diet. No disrespect to the doctor, but I disagree - I think it’s caused by stress.
So we asked you: Does Gladys agree with the doctor?
And the answer is: No, she disagrees. Gladys thinks her husband’s indigestion is caused by stress, but the doctor thinks it’s due to a bad diet.
Disagree is the key word because it has the prefix dis, spelt d-i-s. This means not. So by adding dis, we can turn a word into its opposite. So dis - agree means not to agree …
…and dis - respect means not having respect.
Gladys says No disrespect to the doctor – meaning she doesn’t want people to think she doesn’t respect what the doctor says. Let’s hear another clip from Gladys with more prefixes.
INSERT CLIP 1
Bert’s dyspepsia, or indigestion, is quite bad at the moment. It’s causing him quite a bit of discomfort.
So we had discomfort. If you know what the word comfort means…
… then you can work out what discomfort means: dis- plus comfort give us the opposite of comfort: Bert’s feeling uncomfortable.
And in the clip, we heard the word dyspepsia – that’s the medical word for indigestion, when your stomach feels very full and uncomfortable after you eat.
This word starts with the prefix dys, but this time it’s spelt d-y-s.
This prefix is less common than dis,spelt d-i-s, but it also has a negative meaning – it has the idea of being bad or abnormal.
So dyspepsia is a medical condition when your body can’t process food in the normal way.
Other words with the prefix dys- , spelt d-y-s, are dyslexia and dysfunctional. People who have dyslexia have difficulty with reading…
… and if something is dysfunctional, it doesn’t work properly.
Let’s have another clip with the prefix dis-, d-i-s. We’ll also hear our next prefix.
INSERT CLIP 2
She says the symptoms would disappear if Bert went on a detox diet.
So, we had disappear - that’s dis- plus appear…
Yes, and disappear, means the opposite of appear.
We also had the word detox, which starts with the prefix de-, spelt d-e.
Yes, the prefix de-,spelt d-e, usually means take away or remove something …
So, if something is described as a detox, de-tox, it means it takes away toxins or poisons. A detox diet could be one with just fruit and vegetables.
I like to detox at the end of the day with a hot bath.
6 Minute Vocabulary from the BBC.
And we’re talking about the prefixes dis-,spelt d-i-s; dys,spelt d-y-s; and de-, spelt d-e.
All these prefixes have a negative meaning.
And now it’s quiz time. Choose the correct word. Number one: One minute the dogs were playing in the garden. The next minute the garden was empty and they’d all a) disagreed b) disappeared c) detoxed.
Well, the answer to that is b) disappeared.
Number two. People who drink too much alcohol sometimes go to a clinic for a a) dyspepsia b) discomfort c) detox.
The answer is c) detox.
And number three: My daughter is having problems learning to read. Her teacher thinks she may be a) disrespectful b) dyslexic c) dysfunctional.
The answer is b) dyslexic. And that’s the end of the quiz. Well done if you got them right.
Yes, well done. And now, here’s our top tip for learning vocabulary: when you see or hear a new word, see if you can break the word up - if it starts with a prefix that you recognise, it may help you to understand the meaning.
There’s more about this at bbclearningenglish.com. Join us again for more 6 Minute Vocabulary.
Vocabulary points to take away
detox: removing harmful substances from your body by eating particular foods
I’ve had a lot of junk food and alcohol recently. I’m going to completely detox for the rest of the week – just fruit and water.
disagree: not to agree
Carrie thinks we should take the car because it’s quicker than the bus. I disagree – I think the bus will be quicker as we won’t have to find parking.
disappear: to no longer be seen
There were quite a few grey clouds this morning but they’ve all disappeared and there’s a clear blue sky now.
discomfort: feeling of not being comfortable or in slight pain
A hot cup of tea can help ease the discomfort of a stomach ache.
disrespect: rudeness, behaviour that is upsetting or insulting
People think that young people today show total disrespect towards older family members. They sometimes are very rude to them and often totally ignore them.
dysfunctional: not working or behaving normally
The children came from a totally dysfunctional family where everyone argued all the time and the parents were often drunk.
dyslexia: condition that makes reading and spelling difficult
As she has dyslexia, she makes quite a lot of spelling mistakes when she writes essays.
dyspepsia: medical condition that means the body does not digest food properly, causing pain and discomfort
I take tablets after meals to help settle my stomach as I suffer from dyspepsia quite a bit.
Test what you've learnt about the prefixes de-, dys-, and dis in a quiz!
removing harmful substances from your body by eating particular foods
not to agree
to no longer be seen
feeling of not being comfortable or in slight pain
rudeness, behaviour that is upsetting or insulting
not working or behaving normally
condition that makes reading and spelling difficult
medical condition that means the body does not digest food properly, causing pain and discomfort