English Prefixes and Sufixes

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  • Topic: Suffix, Prefix, Affix
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  • Published : October 24, 2009
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There are 3 processes of word formation in English: affixation- addittion of prefixes and sufixes; conversion- use of the word in another class without any changes; and compounding- joining 2 words to form another.

This paper identifyies only the first process(affixation), English prefixes and suffixes, meaning e classification of them and it gives some examples. The meanings given here, are not conclusive, but central. Further information can be found in large dictionares, which can also supply added meanings.


A prefix is a beginning that is added to a root word. For example, take the root word "purpose." By adding the prefix "multi" to "purpose," the new word "multipurpose" is formed. Every prefix has its own meaning. When added to a root word, a prefix changes the meaning of the root word to which it is added. The root word "purpose" means "an aim or a goal one wishes to achieve." The prefix "multi" means "many." The new word "multipurpose" means "designed or used for many purposes."

Common Prefixes

|Prefix |Meaning |Example | |a-, an- |without |amoral | |ante- |before |antecedent | |anti- |against |anticlimax | |auto- |self |autopilot | |circum- |around |circumvent | |co- |with |copilot | |com-, con- |with |companion, contact | |contra- |against |contradict | |de- |off, away from |devalue | |dis- |not |disappear | |en- |put into |enclose | |ex- |out of, former |extract, ex-president | |extra- |beyond, more than |extracurricular | |hetero- |different |heterosexual | |homo- |same |homonym | |hyper- |over, more |hyperactive | |il-, im-, in-, ir- |not, without |illegal, immoral, inconsiderate, irresponsible | |in- |into |insert | |inter- |between |intersect | |intra- |between |intravenous | |macro- |large |macroeconomics | |micro- |small |microscope | |mono- |one |monocle | |non- |not, without |nonentity | |omni- |all, every |omniscient | |post- |after |postmortem | |pre-, pro- |before, forward |precede, project | |sub- |under |submarine | |syn- |same time...
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