Prefixes, Definition and Examples

English Prefixes, Definition and Examples;

English Prefixes, Definition and Examples;


PREFIXES

Prefixes are used to change the meaning of a word. A syllable word or group of syllables added to the beginning of a word. Prefixes help to add meaning to words and make it possible to create new words that are easily understood everywhere. Understanding a few prefix examples will help you understand the logic of new words and use them appropriately.

For example, consider the prefix de-. This prefix means getting something back.  It is usually added to a verb.  You can then activate the verb. Likewise, you can parse, add to other verbs.

Negative Prefixes

Some prefixes translate the original meaning of the new word into its opposite meaning.

For example:

contra

Examples: contradict, contraindicated, contrarian



de

Examples: deactivate, degrade, de-icer

dis

Examples: disagree, disapprove, disconnect

il-/im-/in-/ir

Examples: illegal, impermeable, injustice, irreversible

non

Examples: nonexistent, nonfiction, non-negotiable,

un

Examples: unkind, unresponsive, unruly

  • In addition, some prefixes add new meanings to the word.  Repeat, negative, positive, etc. It is always important to know the basic meaning of the sentence. With the prefix to the word, the sentence gains meaning.
Other Common Prefixes

There are many prefixes that don’t negate the original meaning of the root word, but rather alter it in unique ways, such as expressing relationships of place, time or manner.

ante-

Examples: antebellum, antediluvian

circum-

Examples: circumnavigate, circumscribe, circumvent

co-/com-/con-   

Examples: coexist, commiserate, contact

en

Examples: encase, endow, envelope

ex-/exo- 

Examples: exhale, extend, exoskeleton

extra

Examples: extracurricular, extraterrestrial, extravert

hyper

Examples: hyperactive, hyperspace, hypertension,

inter-

Examples: interactive, intersect, interstate

mega

Examples: megaphone, megaton

micro

Examples: microcosm, microphone, microscope

mid

Examples: midnight, midseason, midterm



mis

Examples: misappropriate, misunderstand, misuse

mono

Examples: monogamous, monotone

over

Examples: overcook, overdone, overwrought

post

Examples: postdate, postscript, post-war

pre-

Examples: prefix, preliminary, preschool

re-

Examples: reconsider, re-evaluate,

rewrite / semi

Examples: semiconductor, semester,

sub-

Examples: subjugate, submarine,

 

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