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Using prefixes

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Tutor: Jonathan

Summary

Using prefixes

In a nutshell 

A prefix is a letter or group of letters placed at the beginning of a word to create a new word with a different meaning. Prefixes are placed at the front of a 'root' word. In this summary, you will learn the meanings of common prefixes and how to use them.



Prefixes

Prefixes can be added to the beginning of a word to change its meaning. They can be made up of one letter or a group of letters.



'dis' and 'mis'

Both 'dis' and 'mis' have a negative meaning and create a negative word when added to the root word.


prefix

meaning

example prefix+root word

dis-
negative meaning
dishonour (dis+honour), disagree (dis+agree)
mis-
negative meaning
misbehave (mis+behave), miscalculate (mis+calculate)



'in', 'il', 'im', 'ir'

The prefix 'in' means 'not' and can sometimes change into 'il', 'im' or 'ir' based on the root word.


​​Prefix

Meaning

Example Prefix+root word

in-
not
inaccurate (in+accurate), invisible (in+visible)
il-
illogical (il+logical), illegal (il+legal)
im-
impossible (im+possible), impassable (im+passable)
ir-
irrelevant (ir+relevant), irrational (ir+rational)



'sub', 'super' and 'inter'

These prefixes are added to note location.


​​prefix

meaning

example prefix+root word

sub-
under
subtitle (sub+title), subtotal (sub+total)
super-
above, over
super (super+power), supermarket (super+market)
inter-
between, among
international (inter+national), interview (inter+view)




're', 'anti' and 'auto'

These prefixes have different meanings, they are explained in the table below.


​​prefix

meaning

example prefix+root word

re-
again, back
redo (re+do), replay (re+play)
anti-
not, against, opposite
antisocial (anti+social), antibiotic (anti-biotic)
auto-
self, own, automatic

autopilot (auto+pilot), autobiography (auto+biography)



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FAQs - Frequently Asked Questions

What does the prefix 'in' mean?

What do 'dis' and 'mis' mean when used as at the beginning of a word?

What is a prefix?

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