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15.17: The Set of Bound Bases ceive and cept

Difficulty Level: At Grade Created by: CK-12
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The Set of Bound Bases ceive and cept

1. The bound bases ceive and cept both come from the Latin verb, capere, which meant “to take.” The meaning they add to words today is usually not too clear, but they usually add a meaning like “take.” For instance, the ad- in accept means “to, toward,” and when you accept something you take it to yourself.

Notice how ceive and cept work together in these sentences:

When you receive something, it's a reception.

When you deceive someone, it's a deception.

Bases that work together in this way are called a set. A set consists of two or more elements that work together as a team. They are related etymologically and they are usually more or less similar in spelling and meaning.

Sort the following words into the matrix below:


Nouns Verbs
Words with ceive





Words with cept













2. Fill in with either ceive or cept. Usually when we want a verb, we use ceive, and when we want a noun, we use cept.

Three holdouts to this conclusion are the verbs accept, except, and intercept. We do not have the verbs acceive, exceive, or Interceive and apparently never have had.

3. We can use ceive and cept to form adjectives and adverbs. Analyze the following adjectives into prefixes, bases, and suffixes:

Adjective = Analysis
exceptional = ex + cept + ion + al
inconceivable = in + com + n + ceive + able
perceptible = per + cept + ible
unacceptable = un + ad + c + cept + able
conceptual = com + n + cept + ual
deceptive = de + cept + ive
unexceptionable = un + ex + cept + ion + able
imperceptible = in + m + per + cept + ible
receptively = re + cept + ive + ly
receivable = re + ceive + able
susceptible = sub + s + cept + ible
unaccepting = un + ad + c + cept + ing

4. <l> Before <E> Rule: If the <i> and the <e> are in the same element, it's <i> before <e>, except

  1. after <c>, or
  2. when spelling [a¯], as in neighbor or weigh, or
  3. when spelling [i¯] that is at the element's beginning or middle.

In ceive the spelling is <e> before <i> after <c>, just as the <l> Before <E> Rule says. Most of the time when you are faced with a <cei> spelling, it will be in a word with the base ceive.

Teaching Notes.

Item 1. The two forms cept and ceive are from different inflectional forms of the Latin verb capere “take”: Cept descends directly from the past participle form, ceptus, ceive descends from the stem of the combining form of capare, which was cip. In French cip became ceive. If you want more ceive and cept words with which your students can work, you can go to dwcummings.com, then to the Lexis Database section and the Words subsection. Search on Explication contains “cept” and on Explication contains “ceiv”. The two searches should return 288 words.

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Date Created:
Feb 23, 2012
Last Modified:
Jul 07, 2015
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