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Prefixes: de or dis?

These prefixes can be confused when de comes before a root word beginning with s . The more common prefix is dis .

despair
He tried not to despair at the team's poor result.
descend
To descend is to go down.
describe
She could describe the missing boy to the police.
destroy
He was trying to destroy the wasp nest.
destructive
The bomb was very destructive.
disable
When I came home, I had to disable the burglar alarm.
disappoint
As long as you try your best you won't disappoint me.
disarm
The police managed to disarm the gunman.
disqualify
The referee will disqualify anyone who breaks the rules.
disconnect
Please disconnect the lead to the printer.
disobey
I decided to disobey the rules.
disbelief
She stared in disbelief at the damage to her car.
discount
I bought this TV at a discount.
discourage
Your bad comments will discourage me from trying again.
discover
I would like to discover details about my ancestors.
disgraceful
The children behaved in a disgraceful manner.
disrespectful
Children should not be disrespectful to their parents.
disorder
There was great disorder at the street protest.

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Learn about these words in Unit 23. Prefixes: when letters need changing.

Use the list: Prefixes: de or dis?

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spelling test Test yourself using the 'Listen and Spell' spelling test.

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Other lists from Unit 23. Prefixes: when letters need changing.

A mixture of prefixes, Set 1
A mixture of prefixes, Set 2
Prefixes: per or pre?
Prefixes: ante or anti?
More prefixes, Set 3
Prefixes which change

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