Opposite meanings

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 03 January, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 03 January, 2008, 12:00am

'Is it necessary for me to do all this revision?' 'Of course. But it's quite unnecessary for you to complain all the time.'

The prefix 'un' is very useful. It can be added to a lot of adjectives to give them the opposite meaning.

Eg. Was your bedroom tidy when you left for school this morning? Mine was very untidy but I'm going to clear it out this weekend.

Here are some common adjectives that you can put 'un' in front of to give them the opposite meaning.

able, happy, comfortable, interested, friendly, kind, furnished, prepared

Exercise 1

Give these sentences the opposite meaning by putting 'un' in front of the adjective

1 I will be able to meet you at nine o'clock on Sunday as arranged.

2 My new office chair is very comfortable.

3 Our new neighbours are very friendly.

4 I'm looking for a furnished apartment.

5 What's happened? You are looking very happy today.

6 I'm interested in what you are talking about.

7 What you said last night was very kind.

8 I was prepared for what my boss did last week.

Exercise 2

Rewrite these sentences so they contain 'un' adjectives

9 I am not interested in fashion trends.

10 Your behaviour in our maths class was not acceptable.

11 When he plays the piano the noise is not bearable!

12 Why are you not grateful after everything I've done for you?

13 Was the door not locked when you got back this evening?

14 It is not natural for you to dislike your grandparents so much.

15 Is this seat not occupied?

16 His behaviour was not professional when he said that to Claire.

17 His first CD was a huge hit, but his second one was not successful.

18 I can't go to work this morning. I'm really not well.

Exercise 3

Answer these questions using an 'un' adjective from the list below

19 His bedroom is always in a mess, isn't it?

Yes. It's always _______________________________________

20 We couldn't avoid cancelling the appointment, could we?

No. It was_______________________________________

21 This chair is making my bottom ache.

Yes. These seats are very_______________________________________

22 Chris gets out of breath easily when he runs, doesn't he?

Yes. He's very_______________________________________ for his age.

23 Was the cupboard locked?

No. It was_____________________________________ when I opened it.

24 Are all the toilets occupied?

No. There's one at the end that's ______________________________

25 Do you ever speak to your new neighbours?

No. They are very _______________________________________

26 Has Mark found a job yet?

No. He's still ______________________________________

(unmistakable / unsociable / unemployed / unable / untidy / unlikely / unavoidable / unhappy / uncomfortable / unnatural / unfit / unreal / unlocked / unoccupied)

Exercise 4

Match the adjectives on the left to their meanings on the right

27 unfit

28 uneconomic

29 unfurnished

30 unlucky

31 unassuming

32 uninhabitable

33 unruly

34 unfeeling

35 unpleasant

36 unclothed

a. naked

b. modest

c. not caring about other people's feelings

d. without furniture

e. unfit to live in

f. difficult to control

g. not in good health

h. bringing or having bad luck

i. disagreeable

j. not profitable


1. unable; 2. uncomfortable; 3. unfriendly; 4.unfurnished; 5. unhappy; 6. uninterested; 7. unkind; 8. unprepared; 9. uninterested; 10. unacceptable; 11. unbearable; 12. ungrateful; 13. unlocked; 14. unnatural; 15. unoccupied; 16. unprofessional; 17. unsuccessful; 18. unwell; 19. untidy; 20. unavoidable; 21. uncomfortable; 22. unfit; 23. unlocked; 24. unoccupied; 25. unsociable; 26. enemployed; 27. g; 28. j; 29. d; 30. h; 31. b; 32. e; 33. f; 34. c; 35. i; 36. a