Paper 3 - Part 3 (Word formation)

Lesson 14 - Paper 3 – Use of English - Part 3 (Word formation)


In Part 3, you will be given a short text of approximately 200 words. In the text there are 10 gaps. For each gap, you are given the word ‘stem’ to make the correct form of the missing word. 


The most common formations being tested are:

  • ·         Forming nouns from verbs
  • ·         Forming opposite meanings (using prefixes and suffixes)
  • ·         Forming adjectives and adverbs
  • ·         Forming verbs
  • ·         Forming other nouns from nouns and adjectives
  • ·         Difficult spelling changes


We are now going to carry out exercises on some of these areas. 


Forming nouns from verbs

There are many different ways to change a verb into a noun. Let’s look at a couple of the most common ways.


Adding -ion


Verb                            Noun

Associate                     Association

Apply                           Application

Invent                          Invention

Decide                         Decision

Intent                           Intention

Explain                        Explanation

Qualify                        Qualification




Adding -ment

Verb                            Noun

Achieve                       Achievement

Agree                          Agreement

Amaze                         Amazement

Employ                        Employment

Improve                       Improvement



A.     Make a noun from the word in CAPITALS to fill the gap.  Some of them do not follow the rules above! 

  1. Don’t forget to send your CV with your ____________ form. APPLY
  2. The ____________ was signed by both parties in front of a witness. AGREE
  3. John has been an ____________ for the past 17 years. ACT
  4. Over the past few years, the ____________ rate in Spain has decreased. EMPLOY
  5. Katherine Mansfield is a very famous ____________. NOVEL
  6. In order to be a teacher, you need a teaching ____________. QUALIFY
  7. Someone who earns money from playing music is called a ____________. MUSIC
  8. Even after the teacher’s ____________, the students were still confused. EXPLAIN



Forming opposite meaning

The following prefixes are used to give opposite meaning:

In                     inaccurate, inefficient, inappropriate

Dis                   disapprove, dislike, disagree

Im                    improbable, impossible, impatient

Il                      illegal, illiterate, illegible

Ir                      irregular, irrational, irresponsible

Un                    unaware, unable, unknown

Mis                  misbehave, misuse, misunderstand



The following suffix is used to give opposite meaning:


Less                 helpless, harmless, careless



B. Write the correct negative form of the word in CAPITALS.  

1.      Maria accused her husband of being ________. HONEST

2.      It’s difficult to teach children as they have the habit of ________. BEHAVE

3.      Although my dog can seem unfriendly, he is completely ________. HARM

4.      There are too many people growing up ________ in the world. LITERATE

5.      Due to the fact that Alex didn’t take the medicine as instructed, it was ________ and he didn’t recover from the illness. EFFECT

6.      The excuse he gave for not doing his homework was ________. BELIEVE

7.      The results from the experiment were ________ and so they had to do it again. ACCURATE



Forming adjectives or adverbs

Remember: In English, we typically form the adverbial form of the word by adding –ly, -ily. 


C. Write the correct form of the word in CAPITALS. You will need either the adjective or adverb form. 


1.      James gets his work done ________. QUICK

2.      The crossing is very ________ and as a result, there have been many accidents. DANGEROUS

3.      She looked at him ________ because he made a joke about her new haircut. ANGRY

4.      Maria is an attractive person who always dresses ________. GOOD 

5.      They don’t find it very ________ learning French. EASY

6.      Josh behaves ________ when he sees Ruben. BAD

7.      Many teachers were ________ disappointed by the results of the strike. BITTER

8.      Tao is ________ the best Asian restaurant in Madrid. EASY



Forming verbs

Here are four popular prefixes / suffixes used to make verbs. They are: en (prefix), ify (suffix), ise (suffix) and en (suffix).


Here are some examples

En (prefix)






-ify (suffix)






-ise (suffix)






-en (suffix)







D.     Read the sentences below. Use the word given in CAPITALS at the end of each line to form a word that fits the space.  You may need to change the tense.  

1.      The man asked Sarah to ____________ her luggage. IDENTITY

2.      I’m going to ____________ to John for breaking his bike. APOLOGY

3.      The school has decided to ____________ our holidays. SHORT

4.      The doctor ____________ Michelle to stay in bed for two weeks. ADVICE

5.      My new car ____________ me to listen to international radio stations. ABLE

6.      His presentation was too long. He should have ____________ it. SHORT



Word building tables

In order to get better at Part 3, you can learn word-building tables. Below is an example:


Verb                Noun               Adjective        Negative adjective

Help                 help                 helpful             unhelpful

Care                care                 caring              careless                      

Excite              excitement      excited            unexcited

Venture           adventure        adventurous    unadventurous

Act                   action              active              inactive

Tidy                 tidiness            tidy                  untidy 




Exam advice – Video (Video 14.1)

Listen to your teacher give you some advice as to how to be prepared for Part 3 of Paper 3. Make notes.






Exam practice (Part 3)

E. For questions 1-10, read the text below. Use the word given at Capitals after each gap to form a word that fits in the space. There is an example at the beginning. 


Spending time abroad

One of the most (0) effective EFFECT ways of learning a language is by living in the country concerned. Although some parents (1)________ APPROVE of spending money on sending their children abroad for weeks on end, they should think again if they want the best for their child.


Research carried out last month has shown that those who study abroad are (2)________ GOOD linguists than those that have learned solely in the classroom. The research also revealed that a number of the students that had been abroad gain a better (3)________ CULTURE understanding just by being abroad. 


The majority of students investigated in the project had a basic (4)________ KNOW of the language in question and went abroad (5)________VOLUNTARY. Whilst they were in the host country, they were given (6)________ ACCOMMODATE with host families. These families had the (7)________OBLIGE to speak to the learners for at least two hours on a (8)________ DAY basis.


The results demonstrate that (9)________ ENTHUSE language learners that are willing to travel abroad to learn a language are most likely to be more (10)________ SUCCESS language learners. 




1.      Application

2.      Agreement

3.      Actor

4.      Employment

5.      Novelist

6.      Qualification

7.      Musician

8.      Explanation



1.       Dishonest

2.       Misbehaving

3.       Harmless

4.       Illiterate

5.       Ineffective

6.       Unbelievable

7.       Inaccurate



1.       Quickly

2.       Dangerous

3.       Angrily

4.       Well

5.       Easy

6.       Badly

7.       Bitterly

8.       Easily



1.      Identify

2.      Apologise

3.      Shorten

4.      Advised

5.      Enables

6.      Shortened






1.      Disapproving

2.      Better

3.      Cultural

4.      Knowledge

5.      Voluntarily

6.      Accommodation

7.      Obligation

8.      Daily

9.      Enthusiastic

10. Successful






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