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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!

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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.

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แสดงเนื้อหาบทบันทึกเสียง ซ่อนเนื้อหาบทบันทึกเสียง

Neil   
Hello and welcome to 6 Minute Vocabulary. I’m Neil…

Finn
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.

Neil
Prefixes – or prefixes, as some people say - are two or three letters that go at the beginning of a word and affect its meaning. 

Finn
We’ll look at what each prefix means and give you example sentences…

Neil
There’ll be a quiz …

Finn
…and we’ll leave you with a top tip for learning vocabulary.

Neil
But first, let’s listen to Gladys talking about her husband Bert.

Finn
While you listen, think about this question: Does Gladys agree with Bert’s doctor?

INSERT
Gladys
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.

Neil
So we asked you: Does Gladys agree with the doctor?

Finn
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.

Neil
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 …

Finn
…and dis - respect means not having respect.

Neil
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.

Finn
So we had discomfort. If you know what the word comfort means…

Neil
… then you can work out what discomfort means: dis- plus comfort  give us the opposite of comfort: Bert’s feeling uncomfortable.

Finn
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.

Neil
This word starts with the prefix dys, but this time it’s spelt d-y-s.

Finn
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.

Neil
So dyspepsia is a medical condition when your body can’t process food in the normal way.

Finn
Other words with the prefix dys- , spelt d-y-s, are dyslexia and dysfunctional. People who have dyslexia have difficulty with reading…

Neil
… and if something is dysfunctional, it doesn’t work properly.

Finn
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.

Finn
So, we had disappear - that’s dis- plus appear

Neil
Yes, and disappear, means the opposite of appear.

Finn
We also had the word detox, which starts with the prefix de-, spelt d-e.

Neil
Yes, the prefix de-,spelt d-e, usually means take away or remove something …

Finn
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.

Neil
I like to detox at the end of the day with a hot bath.

IDENT          
6 Minute Vocabulary from the BBC.

Neil
And we’re talking about the prefixes dis-,spelt d-i-s; dys,spelt d-y-s; and de-, spelt d-e.

Finn
All these prefixes have a negative meaning.

Neil
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.

Finn
Well, the answer to that is b) disappeared.

Neil
Number two. People who drink too much alcohol sometimes go to a clinic for a a) dyspepsia b) discomfort c) detox.

Finn
The answer is c) detox.

Neil
And number three: My daughter is having problems learning to read. Her teacher thinks she may be a) disrespectful b) dyslexic c) dysfunctional.

Finn
The answer is b) dyslexic. And that’s the end of the quiz. Well done if you got them right.

Neil
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. 

Finn
There’s more about this at bbclearningenglish.com. Join us again for more 6 Minute Vocabulary.

Both              
Bye!

Downloads

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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.

Next

Test what you've learnt about the prefixes de-, dys-, and dis in a quiz!

Session Vocabulary

  • detox
    removing harmful substances from your body by eating particular foods

    disagree
    not to agree

    disappear
    to no longer be seen

    discomfort
    feeling of not being comfortable or in slight pain

    disrespect
    rudeness, behaviour that is upsetting or insulting

    dysfunctional
    not working or behaving normally

    dyslexia
    condition that makes reading and spelling difficult

    dyspepsia
    medical condition that means the body does not digest food properly, causing pain and discomfort