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Learn English > English lessons and exercises > English test #107455: Prefix words with confusion
Prefix words with confusion
Unqualified/disqualified, unarmed/disarmed, unable/disable, uninterested/disinterested, unbelief/disbelief
There are some prefix words with Un and Dis with the same base word. People often get mixed up between these words. The reason of confusion is the prefixes Un and Dis, as both mean: not.
But this negation is in a different way. Un applies with the force of opposite or reversal of an action. Dis applies with the force of the adjective bad or indicating lack of something or deprived.
I am removing your confusion explaining them one by one:
1. Unqualified/disqualified- Base word is qualified for these words.
Qualified (adjective) = having the right knowledge, experience or qualification to do something.
Ex: He is a qualified bus driver. (He has a licence authorising him to drive a bus.)
Unqualified (adjective) = Not having the right knowledge, experience or qualification to do something.
Ex: He is unqualified to do a driver’s job. (He has no licence to drive a bus because he has no knowledge and experience)
Disqualified (verb) = to stop someone doing something because they have done something wrong, or violated the rules.
He was disqualified as a driver because he drove in the wrong lane and had an accident. (His driving licence was taken away or suspended)
2. Unarmed/disarmed- Base word is armed for these words.
Armed (adjective) = furnished with weapons, having an arm or arms
Ex: The unknown man was armed with a gun near Canadian Parliament.
Unarmed (adjective) = not having a weapon
Ex: I was unarmed when I was there.
Disarmed (verb) = to give up weapons, to take weapons from someone, to make harmless (bomb)
Ex: Canadian police caught that unknown man and immediately disarmed him.
3. Unable/disable- Base word is able for these words.
Able (adjective) = to have the skill, intelligence, opportunity etc. needed to do something
Ex: You must be able to speak English for this job.
Unable (adjective) = not having the skill, knowledge, strength etc. to do something
Ex: I am unable to speak English.
Disable (verb) = to cause something be unable to work the normal way, to make someone unable to do something, such as the part of the body in the usual way.
Ex: His father was disabled in a car accident.
4. Uninterested/disinterested- Base word is interested for these words.
Interested (adjective) = having the desire to do or have something
Ex: He is interested in sports.
Uninterested (adjective) = Not wanting to learn more about something or become involved in something
Ex: He is uninterested in sports
Disinterested (adjective) = Not having the mind or feelings engaged
Ex: His father stopped visiting his son’s school because he was disinterested in his progress.
5. Unbelief/disbelief- Base word is belief for these words.
Belief (noun) = an acceptance that something exists or is true, especially one without proof
Ex: When I am in pain, I get strength from my belief in God.
Unbelief (noun) = Lack of religious belief, absence of faith
Ex: The presence of God is a matter of belief and unbelief.
Disbelief (noun) = Refusal to accept that something is true or real
Ex: I reacted with disbelief when he told me that he didn’t love me anymore.
Choose the right word:
Unqualified, disqualified, unable, disable, uninterested, disinterested, unarmed, disarmed, unbelief, disbelief.
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