In English, a word consists of three parts - root words, prefixes and suffixes.
A root word is a word that can form the basis of new words by adding affixes (prefixes or suffixes).
Prefixes and suffixes are not words by themselves, but they help in forming new words. A word that is added before a root word to form a new word is called prefix. A word added at the end of a root word to form a new word is called a suffix.
Prefixes are words added before a root word to derive a newer meaning. Let us explore the usage of prefixes in detail:
1. Prefixes that derive antonyms/opposites: The prefixes "anti", "de", "dis", "un", "in", "im", "ir" usually denote the opposite meaning of the root words.
social - antisocial
lock - unlock
agree - disagree
motivate - demotivate
active - inactive
reversible - irreversible
possible - impossible
2. Prefixes that mean "cause to": The prefix "en" usually denotes the causing effect.
able - enable (cause to able)
joy - enjoy
danger - endanger
3. Prefixes that mean "before to": The prefix "fore" usually denotes anything done before/earlier (denotes the verb).
cast - forecast
go - forego
father - forefather
4. Prefixes that mean "amongst": The prefix "inter" usually denotes amongst others.
national - international
state - interstate
5. Prefixes that mean "middle": The prefix "mid" usually denotes being in the middle part or position.
day - midday
night - midnight
week - midweek
ocean - mid-ocean
6. Prefixes that mean "doing again": The prefix "re" usually denotes repeating of an action.
start - restart
do - redo
write - rewrite
7. Prefixes that mean "too much": The prefix "over" usually denotes too much or a lot of
do - overdo
load - overload
8. Prefixes that mean "before": The prefix "pre" usually denotes previous to, before
historic - prehistoric
view - preview
plan - preplan
9. Prefixes that mean "under" and "above": The prefix "sub" usually denotes under, and "super" denotes above
text - subtext
marine - submarine
natural - supernatural
market - supermarket
10. Prefixes that mean "little or low": The prefix "under" usually denotes lesser
estimate - underestimate
age - underage
Here is a list of commonly used prefixes:
|de, dis||opposite, not||dehydrate, disengage|
|en, em||cause to||enable|
|in, im||into, not||immoral, inedible|
|in, im, ir||not, opposite||impossible|
The prefixed words in the lesson "A Bicycle in Good Repair":