fbpx

Prefixes & Suffixes

Prefixes and suffixes are important components of English vocabulary that can significantly affect the meaning of words. A prefix is a letter or group of letters that are added to the beginning of a word to change its meaning, while a suffix is added to the end of a word to modify its meaning or form a new word altogether.

Some common prefixes include “un-“ which means not or the opposite of, “dis-“ which means not or opposite of, and “re-“ which means again or back. For example, adding the prefix “un-“ to the word “happy” changes its meaning to “unhappy”, which means not happy. Adding the prefix “re-“ to the word “do” changes its meaning to redo”, which means to do again.

Some common suffixes include “-ness” which means the state of or condition of, “-ment” which means an action or process, and “-able” which means capable of. For example, adding the suffix “-ness” to the word “happy” changes its meaning to “happiness”, which means the state of being happy. Adding the suffix “-able” to the word “read” changes its meaning to “readable”, which means capable of being read.

Knowing common prefixes and suffixes can help you to understand the meaning of words more easily and to build your vocabulary. You can also use prefixes and suffixes to create new words or to modify existing ones.

Prefix Meaning Example
anti- against, opposite antibiotic, antivirus
de- opposite, away from  devalue, deactivate
dis- not, opposite of disagree, disappear
il- illegal, illogical
im-/in- impossible, incorrect
ir- irregular, irresponsible
un- unhappy, unfair
non- not, without nonfiction, nonverbal
pre- before, in advance preheat, prepay
sub- under, below submarine, substandard
Suffix Meaning Example
-able/-ible capable of being readable, edible
-al pertaining to educational, national
-er/-or person who teacher, actor
-ful full of helpful, beautiful
-less without  careless, meaningless
-ous full of dangerous, curious
-ship position held friendship, leadership
Of course, this is just a small sample of the many prefixes and suffixes in the English language, but these are some of the most common and useful ones to know. Understanding the meanings of prefixes and suffixes can help you to decipher the meaning of unfamiliar words and to build your vocabulary. Additionally, you can use prefixes and suffixes to create new words and to modify the meaning of existing words, making your writing more precise and effective.

Check your understanding of Prefixes and Suffixes

This content is for Basic, Premium - Monthly, Premium - Yearly, Beta Testers, and Basic - Monthly members only.
Login Join Now
Scroll to Top