Prefix and suffix

Prefixes and suffixes are little groups of words that are added to a root word to give those words new meanings. A prefix is placed in front of a word, while a suffix is placed at the back.

The tables below show what prefixes mean and how they’re used in a word. Take note that there are many suffixes and prefixes, and the list that you see below provides just a few common ones:

Prefixes

Meaning

Examples

anti-

against

anti-ageing, anti-social

de-

down, away

degrade, derail

dis-

apart, not

disconnect, dislike

ex-

former

ex-teacher, ex-girlfriend

pre-

before

pre-war, pre-order

post-

after

post-war, post-dated

re-

again

reclaim, remake

un-

not

unnatural, unwanted

semi-

half

semi-finals, semi-detached

Suffixes

Meaning

Examples

-able

possible, capable

separable, reliable

-al

related to

political, economical

-less

without

wireless, heartless

-ful

quality

helpful, wonderful

Take note:
Some words are tricky; they appear to have prefixes or suffixes, but they’re actually whole words!

Examples:

  • return ( = give back)
  • demise ( = die)
  • hardly ( = very seldom)
  • display ( = show)
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Posted on October 25, 2009, in Word Power and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. Just like in the word “prefix”. “Pre” in itself means “before”. πŸ™‚ But can it also means “fix before”? πŸ™‚

    • Yes, Rose. You’re very observant, indeed. “Prefix” means “fix before” – in this case, before a word. As for “suffix”, I’ll don’t know if “suf-” is a prefix πŸ™‚

      TQ for the comment. Let others know about this page, ok? Cheers!

  2. So post-office is after office hehe…

    • Hahaha… that’s a good one πŸ™‚

      “Post office” is spelt without the hyphen, and we don’t say: “See you at post-office hours.”
      Instead, we say: “See you after office hours.”

      TQ for the humour πŸ˜€

  3. That reminds me of Australia where in the name card they have office tel:1234XX, fax:2345XX and ah:3456XX. Just wondering what is ah:3456XX? OIC its “After Hours:3456XX” meaning house telephone number. Those days the hand phone have not reached DownUnder yet

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