B2 First: use of English part 3 (word formation with irregular nouns and verbs)

There are lots of standard verb suffixes (see my verb word formation pages) or noun suffixes (e.g -ment, -ion). But many nouns and verbs have irregular suffixes which you'll need to know for the B2 First (FCE) exam.

Look at the information in the table for a few minutes and try to remember the words. Then click below to hide the information and try to answer the questions at the bottom.

(dis)belief (dis)believe (un)believable (un)believably
a choice choose chosen -
a defence (British)
a defense (US)
defend defensive defensively
a death die dead/deadly deadly
a gift give giving -
a loss lose lost -
a marriage marry (un)married -
practice practise (British)
practice (US)
practising (British)
practicing (US)
pretence (British)
pretense (US)
pretend - -
proof (dis)prove (un)proven -
safety save (un)safe safely
a sight see unseen -
a speech speak (un)spoken -
a success succeed (un)successful (un)successfully
a thought think thoughtful/less thoughtfully/lessly

Note: there may be other forms of these words (for example, marriageable), but I have tried to give the most common/useful examples above ("a woman of marriageable age" sounds very old-fashioned nowadays).

Practice: word formation (use of English part 3)

Write the correct form of the word in brackets to complete these sentences.

  1. The flowers are poisonous - don't eat them! (DIE)
  2. You have no - you must do it. (CHOOSE)
  3. Their was a very happy one. (MARRY)
  4. You need to do some more of this grammar. (PRACTISE)
  5. We don't have any that he committed the crime. (PROVE)
  6. She's really about her new haircut. (DEFEND)
  7. The company made a on their new product. (LOSE)

 Practice 2: more word formation

Write the correct form of the word in brackets to complete these sentences.

  1. I stared at him in . (BELIEVE)
  2. Your parents really care about your . (SAVE)
  3. The politician's really made me think about the issues. (SPEAK)
  4. We tried to keep up the that everything was OK. (PRETEND)
  5. I need to get a for my parents' wedding anniversary. (GIVE)
  6. I'm really sorry. You were in your job application. (SUCCEED)
  7. He lost his in the accident. (SEE)
  8. He's really selfish and . (THINK)