Jen’s English Tip’s – Prefix and Suffix



Prefix and Suffix


“Actions speak louder than words”-no doubt, but sometimes words speak louder than actions. The words a person uses, or their vocabulary, will often tell their story. Thus vocabulary learning is a vital part of education and sometimes there are very simple ways to enhance your vocabulary by adding letters either in the beginning or in the end. Letters added to the beginning are Prefixes and Letters added to the end are suffixes.

Sometimes in a particular situation it becomes hard to think and use a proper word, with a grammatical structure. It is at this time you can use words by adding prefixes and suffixes to it. Before using them, understanding them is necessary. So let’s discuss them.


When a group of letters having a special meaning appears at the beginning of the root word, we call that group of letters a prefix for example ‘ir’, ‘en’, ‘non’ and many more. The basis of adding a prefix is to create different meanings. It changes the meaning of a word and gives several other meanings.


a. Possible becomes impossible by adding a prefix ‘im’
b. Way becomes midway by adding a prefix ‘mid’
c. Function becomes malfunction by adding a prefix ‘mal’


Just like the prefix, a group of letters with a special meaning appearing at the end of the root word is called a suffix. They too add many meanings to a word.


1) Person becomes personal with an addition of suffix ‘al’
2) Work becomes worker with an addition of suffix ‘er’
3) Port becomes portable with addition of suffix ‘able’

We can say that the prefix modifies and/or extends the meaning. However a suffix can indicate the part of speech of a word just as it can modify and extend the meaning too

Hence, prefix and suffix brings about change in three different things.

1) Change in the grammatical form:

In a noun, when we add a suffix ‘ful’ it changes into an adjective, and when in an adjective we add the suffix ‘ly’ it changes into an adverb. Example, the word ‘wonderful’ is an adjective and ‘wonderfully’ is an adverb.

2) Changes in the meaning:

As we know prefix and suffix change the meaning of the word.
Suffix when added also brings out several meanings. It creates a new meaning of the existing word. Like the word ‘care’ when it is added with suffix ‘ful’, it becomes ‘careful’.

3) Changes the pronunciation:

When suffix and prefix is added, it sometimes changes the course of spelling and the way of pronouncing.

With the proper knowledge about prefix and suffix you can improve your English and enhance your vocabulary.


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Posted by on Oct 8 2015. Filed under English Tips by Jen. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.
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