Preffixes and suffixes

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What is a prefix?

A prefix is a group of letters which you can add to the beginning of a root word* to change the meaning of the word.  e.g. mis + fortune = misfortune

*A root word stands on its own as a word but you can make new words from it by adding beginnings (prefixes) and endings (suffixes).
For example, 'comfort' is a root word. By adding the prefix 'dis' and the suffix 'able' youcan make new words such as 'discomfort' and 'comfortable'.

Prefix meanings:
Every prefix has a meaning, for example:
The prefix 'un' means 'not'
The root word 'clear' means 'bright', 'free from difficulty'

un + clear = unclear which means 'not clear' or 'dim', 'difficult to see or understand'
There are no rules to help you remember which prefix you should use, although knowing themeaning of the prefix can help.
Here are some examples of prefixes and their meanings...

|Prefix |Meaning |
|mis |means 'wrong' or 'badly' |
| |e.g. 'misspelled' ormisspelt means 'wrongly spelled' |
|sub |means under |
| |e.g. 'subway' means 'a way under the ground' |
|pre |means 'before intime', 'in front of' or 'superior' |
| |e.g. 'prepacked' means 'packed before' |
|un |means not (there are also several other prefixes which mean not) |
| |e.g. 'unhurt'means 'not hurt' |

If you are uncertain whether the prefix you have used is correct, check the word in a dictionary when you proof-read your writing.

Adding prefixes to root words

1. Generally when you add a prefix to a root word* the spelling of the prefix and the root words stays the same.

*A root wordstands on its own as a word but you can make new words from it by adding beginnings (prefixes) and endings (suffixes).

|Prefix |+ |Root word |= |Word |
|un |+ |kind |= |unkind |
|im |+ |mature |= |immature|
|bi |+ |cycle |= |bicycle |
|mis |+ |fire |= |misfire |
|in |+ |visible |= |invisible |

When you add a prefix to a root word the spelling of both usually stays the same, although when theprefix 'all' is added to a root word the final 'l' of 'all' is dropped.

all + together = altogether
all + ways = always
2. With some root words more than one type of prefix may be added to give the word different meanings.

|Prefix |+ |Root word |= |Word |
|dis |+|appear |= |disappear - means to no longer appear, or cease to appear |
|re |+ |appear |= |reappear - means to appear again |

3. Sometimes you can add more than one prefix to a word at the same time.

|Prefix |+ |Prefix |+...
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