In a sentence or text you have to change the form of a word, e.g. from a noun to an adjective, or from a verb to a noun. For example:

The _____ was very nervous. (sing)

You have to complete the sentence with the person noun (singer). You change the verb (sing) into the person noun (singer).

  • Look at the word you have to change. Which words do you know that are in the same word family?
  • The beginning of the word is often the same and the end of the word changes.
  • What form is the new word? A verb? A noun? An adjective? An adverb?
  • Nouns often end: -ment, -ion, -ness, -ity.
  • People nouns often end: -er, -or, -ist, -ian.
  • Adjectives often end: -able, -ible, -ive, -al, -ic, -ed, -ing.
  • Some verbs end: -ise, -ate, -en.
  • Adverbs often end: -ly.
  • Is the new word negative? If so, you may need a prefix, e.g. un- (unhappy), im- (impolite), in- (inexperienced), dis- (dishonest), etc.
  • If you don’t know the new word, guess. You may be right!
  • Check your answers carefully when you finish.


Do you find word formation tests difficult?


studyenglish1601's picture
studyenglish1601 16 March, 2015 - 05:20

Thanks for your gap fill- word formation 1 and 2. Could you arrange to design for more different kind of those word formations. I am really into this type of exercises.

Best wishes.

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Jo - Coordinator's picture
Jo - Coordinator 16 March, 2015 - 08:39

Hi studyeglish1601,
Thanks for your comment and I'm glad you like these exercises. You can find more of them in our Science UK section. Try the vocabulary gap fill exercise on How do you feel? for example. Reading the text first will make the exercises easier.
Best wishes
(LearnEnglishTeens team)

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TarikM's picture
TarikM 12 May, 2014 - 08:34

Its interesting and helpful but i dont know the answer question no 4. Could anyone tell me please.

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JoEditor's picture
JoEditor 12 May, 2014 - 14:40

Hi TarikM,
We're pleased you find our website useful. To check the answers to the exercises just click the 'Check answers' tab at the bottom. The answer to number 4 in the first exercise is 'impatient'. I hope that helps. 
Best wishes, Jo (LearnEnglish Teens Team) 

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Rikky's picture
Rikky 30 July, 2013 - 04:50

Great! This exercise is very interesting. I find doing a kind of one make enjoyment for student.

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Ilgın's picture
Ilgın 26 July, 2013 - 15:09

Yes, I do. I think it's so diffucult to solve. I get nervous when I see this questions on exam papers. I find the answers some of them. I dan't like them so much.....

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