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Word formation – snippet from our course “Cambridge First”

Read the text below first. For questions 17 – 24 use the word that is given in capital letters at the end of the lines to form words that fit in the gaps in the same line. The first example (0) is done for you. Let’s get started on Word Formation:

We’re going to work through this exercise together. If you already know the word because it sounds good, then you can think about inserting that word, but in order to make sure we have the right word it is very important to solve the word using a grammatical analysis i.e., adjective to adverb, missing negative prefix or suffix, convert word to noun etc. We will go through each of the examples together using an inductive method to push you into deciding the correct answer. Let’s get started!

New Zealand’s traditional dance: The Haka

Watching the Haka for the first time will surely be a (0) _______ experience. Not many have seen such a dance let alone see it up close in (17) _______. The Haka, for New Zealanders is the (18) _______ war dance that is traditionally performed before important rugby matches involving the New Zealand national rugby team, the All Blacks.

Many spectators and fans of the sport of rugby have (19) _______ the Haka as exhilarating, moving and soul-touching. Most can’t describe it. There’s something truly inspirational seeing elite sportsmen pour their heart and soul out in to giving the dance of their life.

The Haka itself (20) _______ from New Zealand’s ancient Maori culture and is a ceremonial dance or challenge. The Haka has long been practiced as a war dance, but according to the Karetu, the Haka has been “erroneously (21) _______ by generations of uninformed as “war dances'”, whereas Māori mythology places haka as the dance “about the celebration of life”. This is adamant in the fact that the Haka (22) _______ does embrace life and is about respect, because the Haka is commonly performed during important cultural exchanges, funerals, weddings and other such events.

Most would presume that the Haka is only performed at rugby matches, but in reality, quite the contrary is (23) _______. Apart from said events (from above), there have been many instances in the past during basketball matches, flash mobs, American football games and even roller derbies where the Haka was (24) _______.

The Haka has, and always will be, a beautiful and traditional Maori dance from New Zealand or Aotearoa, which in Maori means, the land of the long white cloud.


(17) ACT

(18) FAME





(23) TRUTH


(0) The word given is “fascinate”. Fascinate is a verb. The word “experience” is a noun and only adjectives can modify nouns. We need to change the verb “fascinate” into an adjective. Remember, in English there many ways we can make an adjective, but the main forms are the -ed and -ing forms. E.g. tired, tiring; annoyed, annoying; surprised, surprising; fascinated, fascinating etc. The “ed” forms are also the past participles and can function as adjectives. Generally, the “ed” adjective forms are used to describe the entity itself and the “ing” forms are to describe the action or the description. “Experience” is not an entity, so we need “fascinating” and not “fascinated”.

Watching the Haka for the first time will surely be a (0) ________ experience. (FASCINATE)

(17) The last word before the space is “in”. “In” is a preposition and prepositions are usually followed by a noun/pronoun, so, therefore, we know we need a noun. “Act” is a verb and a noun. There are two forms to this noun with different meanings. We require the meaning of “state or process of acting or doing”. We know now that we need a noun. (Remember the rule: prepositions are followed by a noun or pronoun).

Not many have seen such a dance let alone see it up close in (17) ________. (ACT)

(18) “War dance” is a compound noun, so what word do we need to modify it? You guessed it: an adjective. “Fame” is a noun so we need to convert it in to an adjective. Here are some suffixes that make adjectives: -al, -ful, -ous, -ic, -ive etc. Which one sounds better: famal, famful? Famous? Famic? Famive? There’s no rule as to which suffix goes where, so in reality, you need to write the suffixes down and decide which one sounds more natural. The same applies to making nouns, negatives, and adverbs.

The Haka, for New Zealanders, is the (18) ________ war dance that is… (FAME)

(19) “Spectators and fans” is the subject of the sentence. “Have” is the verb, and its use is primarily to make “perfect forms”. When we’re talking about a past action whose nature or experience continues until the present moment, the present perfect is used. Present perfect = have/has + past participle. “Description” is the noun, so you need to convert this word to its verb form and then add “ed” to make the past participle. (If the infinitive already ends in “e”, then you only need to add “d” to make the past participle.

Many spectators and fans of the sport of rugby have (19) ____________ the Haka as exhilarating, moving and soul-touching. (DESCRIPTION)

Cambridge First

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