In December, the church bells went up a few decibels. Test your KS3 spelling of words beginning at dec.
"I'd probably want to teach at university, because children would drive me insane. I suspect it would be English literature, Shakespeare and so forth. I've always been deeply, deeply in love with that kind of thing." - Stephen Fry.
Have you ever wondered why the in- and un- prefixes in English do the same job? Both negate the following stem. So in- negates the following -sane, from sanus, the Latin word for "healthy". Why do we not use the word unsane? Sounds ridiculous somehow, doesn't it? And yet English includes the word "unhealthy", which has a near-identical literal meaning to "insane".
The short answer to this question is that the Latin stem requires a Latin prefix, thus the word is "insane", rather than unsane (insanus is, in fact, a Latin word). The prefix un- is Germanic in origin and was used in Old English. "Unhappy" is an example of a word created through using the English un- to negate a word which has not been derived from Latin. Inhappy just wouldn't sound right, would it?Practise your spellings with this quiz.