Prefixes and Suffixes

Prefixes and Suffixes

Prefixes and Suffixes

Suffixes and prefixes are essential components of English language learning. They are morphemes, which are added to the beginning or end of a word to create a new word or change its meaning. Understanding the difference between suffixes and prefixes is important in order to improve one’s vocabulary and comprehension skills. In this article, we will explore the differences between suffixes and prefixes and provide 10 questions to help ESL learners practice and master this skill.

What are prefixes?

Prefixes are morphemes that are added to the beginning of a word to create a new word or modify its meaning. They are often used to indicate a negation or reversal of the meaning of the root word. For example, the prefix ‘un-‘ is used to indicate negation, such as in the words ‘unhappy’ or ‘unlucky’. Prefixes can also be used to indicate a location, time, or direction, such as ‘pre-‘, which means ‘before’.

Examples of prefixes

  • Un-: Undo, unaware, unhappy
  • Dis-: Dislike, disagree, disobey
  • Re-: Rebuild, rewrite, redo
  • Mis-: Misunderstand, misinterpret, misbehave
  • Pre-: Preheat, preview, prearrange
  • Post-: Postpone, postgraduate, postwar
  • Sub-: Submarine, submerge, substitute

What are suffixes?

Suffixes are morphemes that are added to the end of a word to create a new word or modify its meaning. They can be used to indicate tense, number, or a part of speech. For example, the suffix ‘-s’ is used to indicate plurality, such as in the word ‘dogs’, while the suffix ‘-ly’ is used to indicate manner, such as in the word ‘happily’. Suffixes can also be used to change the meaning of the root word, such as the suffix ‘-able’, which means ‘capable of’.

Examples of suffixes

  • -ly: Quickly, happily, slowly
  • -able/-ible: Comfortable, flexible, responsible
  • -tion/-sion: Information, decision, admission
  • -ment: Agreement, excitement, government
  • -ful: Beautiful, wonderful, careful
  • -less: Homeless, meaningless, useless
  • -ness: Happiness, kindnessm awareness

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