The "re-" prefix

A prefix is a group of LETTERS that are placed in front of a word to give a new meaning to that word. On its own, a prefix does not have meaning. One of the prefixes that I’d like to talk about is “re-“. In general, when this prefix is used with some verbs, it means “again“.

Examples:

  • remake = make again
  • resell = sell again
  • redo = do again
  • replay = play again

However, if you add “re-” to some other words, they will have two different meanings.

Examples:

  • remark = mark again, an opinion or comment
  • resent = sent again, to be angry because you’ve been forced to accept something
  • resign = sign again, to leave a job

The three words above are commonly used in our country but I’d personally avoid using them in order not to be confused. So, instead of saying:

  • I’d like you to remark my test paper. (X), or
  • I want a remark . (X)

it’s more accurate to say:

  • I’d like you to mark my paper again. (√)
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Posted on October 8, 2009, in Word Power. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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