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Prefix A prefix is a group of letters placed before the root of a word.

For example, the word "unhappy" consists of the prefix "un-" [which means "not"] combined with the root (stem) word "happy"; the word "unhappy" means "not happy."A Short List of Prefixes: PREFIX MEANING EXAMPLES defrom, down, away reverse, opposite decode, decrease disexiliminmisnonpreproreunnot, opposite, reverse, away out of, away from, lacking, former not not, without not, without bad, wrong not before for, forward, before again, back against, not, opposite disagree, disappear exhale, explosion illegal, illogical impossible, improper inaction, invisible mislead, misplace nonfiction, nonsense prefix, prehistory proactive, profess, program react, reappear undo, unequal, unusual

Suffix A suffix is a group of letters placed after the root of a word. For example, the word flavorless consists of the root word "flavor" combined with the suffix "less" [which means "without"]; the word "flavorless" means "having no flavor." A Short List of Suffixes: SUFFIX -able -al -er -est -ful -ible -ily -ing -less -ly -ness -y MEANING able to, having the quality of relating to comparative superlative full of forming an adjective forming an adverb denoting an action, a material, or a gerund without, not affected by forming an adjective denoting a state or condition full of, denoting a condition, or a diminutive EXAMPLES comfortable, portable annual, comical bigger, stronger strongest, tiniest beautiful, grateful reversible, terrible eerily, happily, lazily acting, showing friendless, tireless clearly, hourly kindness, wilderness glory, messy, victory,

What can you do when you run into a word that you dont know? One thing that may help is to analyze the word, looking for groups of letters that have special meanings. A group of letters with a special meaning appearing at the end of a word is called a suffix. Here is a list of 16 important suffixes. Suffix -able -ible -al -ance -ence -ic -ion -ism -hood -ity -ment -er -or -ite -y -ful Meaning able to be relating to Example manageable defensible regal resistance independence heroic union patriotism brotherhood legality puzzlement writer advisor Mennonite soapy wishful

state of quality of

one who full of

When a group of letters having a special meaning appears at the beginning of a word, we call that group of letters a prefix. Following is a list of 10 prefixes all dealing with counting. Prefix unimonoautoduobitripentahexapolymultiMeaning one one self two two three five six many many Example unicycle monologue autobiography duodecimal bifocal tripod pentagon hexadecimal polygon multicolored

Put the word in brackets into the correct form. You will have to use prefixes and/or suffixes. 1. He was sitting __________________ in his seat on the train. (comfort) 2. There was a __________________ light coming from the window. (green) 3. He was acting in a very __________________ way. (child) 4. This word is very difficult to spell, and even worse, it's __________________. (pronounce) 5. He's lost his book again. I don't know where he has __________________ it this time. (place) 6. You shouldn't have done that! It was very __________________ of you. (think) 7. He didn't pass his exam. He was __________________ for the second time. (succeed) 8. Some of the shanty towns are dreadfully __________________ . (crowd) 9. The team that he supported were able to win the__________________ . (champion) 10. There is a very high __________________ that they will be late. (likely) 11. I couldn't find any __________________ in his theory. (weak) 12. He wants to be a __________________ when he grows up. (mathematics) 13. You need to be a highly trained __________________ to understand this report. (economy) 14. There were only a __________________ of people at the match. (hand) 15. She arrived late at work because she had__________________ . (sleep) 16. The road was too narrow, so they had to __________________ it. (wide) 17. He was accused of __________________ documents. (false) 18. They had to __________________ the lion before they could catch it. (tranquil) 19. He needed to __________________ the temperature. (regular)

20. I think that you should __________________ . It may not be the best thing to do. (consider) 21. There was a three-hour __________________ because of the strike. (stop) 22. You need a _______________of motivation, organization and revision to learn English.(combine) 23. I try not to go to the supermarket at 5pm because it's __________________. (practice) 24. It is very __________________ to run air-conditioning with the door open. (economy) 25. His __________________ has been expected for the last half an hour. (arrive) 26. She looked at her __________________ in the mirror. (reflect) 27. I told him my plan but he wasn't very __________________ . (receive) 28. She had no __________________ of going to see him. (intend) 29. He spent half an hour __________________ himself with the building. (familiar) 30. Failing her driving test was a great __________________ to her. (appoint) 31. He decided to study __________________ at university. (journal) 32. The film was __________________ good. (surprise) 33. There was the need for __________________ construction when the fighting stopped. (war) 34. I don't like him at all. He's so __________________ . (satisfy) 35. The company has over 500 __________________ . (employ) 36. The new manager was very efficient and __________________ . (business) 37. It really isn't mine. I think that you are __________________ . (take) 38. The rate of __________________ in Brazil has been rising steadily. (employ) 39. With the real plan, the rate of __________________ in Brazil has fallen. (inflate)

40. She looked at him __________________ , and started to cry. (happy) 41. The party was __________________ , everything went wrong. (disaster) 42. The film was so __________________ that we left before the end. (bore) 43. The film was terrible, I felt really __________________ . (bore) 44. I think that there has been a __________________ , I didn't order this. (understand) 45. The bacteria are so small that you need a __________________ to see them. (scope) 46. Have you seen that new __________________ ? He's very funny. (comedy) 47. The event was totally __________________ . It was terrible. (organise) 48. I arrived late for work because I had __________________ . (sleep) 49. There is a small __________________ explaining the new traffic code. (book) 50. He was __________________ . He wouldn't change his mind. (compromise)

Words with a different grammatical form or meaning can be derived from a base word using prefixes and suffixes. By understanding how these prefixes and suffixes work, it is often easier to deal with unknown vocabulary. You can sometimes see what part of speech a word is (verb, noun, adjective etc.), or additional information that a prefix may give. 1. Changes in grammatical form. The noun 'power' can be used as an adjective by adding the suffix ~ful (powerful). The adverbial form is made by adding the suffix ~ly to the adjective (powerfully). The verb 'to improve' becomes a noun by adding the suffix ~ment (improvement). The same root word can also become a verb (improvise) The noun 'nation' changes into an adjective with the suffix ~al (national), and by adding another suffix ~ize the word changes from an adjective to a verb (nationalize) The adjective 'special' can change to a verb (specialize) or a noun (speciality).

2. Changes in meaning. Prefixes and suffixes can also change the meaning of a word. The meaning of 'possible' is reversed with the addition of the prefix im~ (impossible). To 'overeat' means to eat too much and if food is undercooked, it is not cooked enough. Some suffixes commonly denote an occupation. Eg. The verb 'to teach' is transformed into the occupation with the suffix ~er (teacher). Both grammatical changes and changes in meaning can be applied to the same base word. Eg. The noun 'interest' can be made an adjective and given opposite meaning by adding a prefix and a suffix (uninteresting). 3. Changes in pronunciation. When prefixes and suffixes are added to root words, the word stress sometimes changes. Eg. Noun & verb: 'photograph'. Adjective: 'photographic'. Opposite: 'unphotographic'. Person: 'photographer'. In English the word stress is often on the third syllable from the end. Overleaf is a list of the most common suffixes and prefixes and the grammatical and meaning changes that they apply to root words.

Prefixes and suffixes - by Viv Quarry.


Suffixes for Nouns
~ment ~ness ~sion ~tion ~er ~age ~sis ~ism

Suffixes for Adjectives


~ful ~ive ~ic ~al ~able ~ed ~ible ~ing ~ous ~ish ~y ~ly ~like ~some ~worthy

Suffixes for Verbs ~ize ~ise ~yse ~ate ~ent ~en ~ify ~fy ~ct ~fine ~ive

~ty ~ity ~al ~ant ~ance ~ssion ~hood ~ship ~dom ~th ~ght ~cess ~ful

Suffixes for Adverbs ~ly ~ily ~ely ~ingly

Suffixes for Professions & people ~er ~ess (female) ~or ~ian ~ist ~ic ~ee

Suffixes for University subjects ~ics ~y ~ing ~ism

~eer ~man Suffixes for 'Without/small' ~less ~let Prefixes for 'partly, half & middle' semi-~ half-~ mid-~ Prefixes for 'Opposites / not' un~ in~ im~ dis~ ir~ de~ mis~ non-~ Prefixes for 'For, Against & Again' pro~ anti~ counter~ re~ Prefixes for 'Before & After' pre~ ex~ post~ Prefix for '2 & badly' bi~ mal~ Prefixes for 'Too much/little & more' over~ under~ extra~ out~ Prefixes for 'Very large/small' macro~ micro~ Prefix for 'alone& with' self-~ co~