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Why is the word invisible and not unvisible, or unbelievable and not inbelievable?

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The words in the English can be traced back to their German or Latin origin. Based on the origin, there is an influence in the English language that creates such difference. So if the word is of Latin origin the prefix used is 'in'and in case of German the prefix used is 'un'.
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Tutor

The words of the English language can be traced back to their origin from Latin or German or others as well. With reference to that, the words that originate from German uses the prefix 'un' and those of Latin origin uses the prefix 'in'.
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Because that is the rule and it cannot be changed. That's just how these words are supposed to be.
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There is a rule to this, but it s a bit too technical for day-to-day use. Words in English have different points of origin. Some have come from Latin words, and some from Germanic languages. In case of the prefixes un- and in-, if the word is Latin in origin it uses in- and if it is of Germanic origin... read more
There is a rule to this, but it’s a bit too technical for day-to-day use. Words in English have different points of origin. Some have come from Latin words, and some from Germanic languages. In case of the prefixes un- and in-, if the word is Latin in origin it uses in- and if it is of Germanic origin it uses un-. Like I said, it’s technical. And like any other rule, it has its exceptions. The most popular of which is the word ‘inflammable’, which actually means something that is likely to catch fire. It’s one of those quirky things about the English language that bugs everyone. In case you ever run into a confusion between these two prefixes, it's always a good idea to consult a dictionary rather than any set rule. read less
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The words are Invisible / Not Visible, Unbelievable / Not beleivable
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Tutor

One of the reasons could be that the English language words have many points of origin like Latin, French, German, etc. Depending from where the word has originated, it could have an impact on the prefix - 'in' or 'un'. Its one of those things in English which is not totally explicable.
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English is a tricky language and words are derived from many other languages like French, German, Latin and Hindi too. Hence the rules to use in and un as a prefix change. the general rule says if the word is originated from English or ancient English language it takes un as its prefix. if the word... read more
English is a tricky language and words are derived from many other languages like French, German, Latin and Hindi too. Hence the rules to use in and un as a prefix change. the general rule says if the word is originated from English or ancient English language it takes un as its prefix. if the word is Latin origin it has in as its prefix. If your English language skills are really good you know the origin of the words else you need to learn the words and remember. read less
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bcoz a word cannot be changed, since it does not have a formula.
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