Everyday Prefixes and Suffixes You Should Know in English Language

A base or root word can stand alone and has meaning (for example, read).

A suffix is a word part added to the end of a word (for example, -able). If you add the suffix -able to the base word, read, the word is readable.

A prefix is a word part added to the beginning of a word or base word (for example, un-). If the prefix un- is added to readable, the word is unreadable.

Here’s a list of some common Prefixes and how they’re used👇🏾

PrefixMeaningExamples
a-not, withoutanaemic, atheist
anti-opposing, againstantibiotic, anticlimax
be-completelybemuse, bewitch
en-bring into
the condition of
enforce, enlighten
hypo-underhypodermic, hypotension
im-not, withoutimpolite, impossible
infra-belowinfrared, infrasonic
inter-between, amonginterchange, inter-school
intra-inside, withinintracranial, intramural
non-absence, negationnon-alcoholic, non-violent
ob-blocking, againstobstacle, obstruct
out-surpassing,
exceeding
outgoing, outperform
over-excessively,
completely
overconfident, overjoyed
peri-round, aboutperimeter, periscope
post-after in time
or order
postgame, postmortem
pre-before in time,
place, order
or importance
precondition, prelude
pro-in support of;
before in time,
place or order
pro-American; prologue
re-againrecycle, repaint
semi-partlysemicircle, semiformal
sub-at a lower positionsub-lieutenant, submarine
syn-in union, togethersynchronize, synthesis
trans-across, beyondtransatlantic, transnational
ultra-beyond, extremeultramicroscopic, ultrasonic
un-not, reversalunhappy, unmask
under-beneath, belowundercarriage,
undersecretary

Here’s a list of some common Suffixes and how they’re used👇🏾

SuffixMeaningExamples
-ableable to bedrinkable, excitable
-ationaction or processcreation, narration
-cracyrule, government,
power
autocracy, democracy
-domcondition of, state,
realm
freedom, wisdom
-fymake, causefalsify, terrify
-izationact or process of
making
fertilization,
modernization
-lesswithoutfearless, helpless
-nessstate or qualitykindness, shyness
-ologystudy of, science ofbiology, neurology
-onymname, wordantonym, synonym
-opsyexaminationautopsy, biopsy
-ousfull ofhazardous, humourous
-pathyfeeling, diseasedcardiopathy,
naturopathy
-phileone who lovesaudiophile, bibliophile
-phobiaabnormal fear ofclaustrophobia,
xenophobia
-phonesoundhomophone, telephone
-plegicone who is paralyzedparaplegic, quadriplegic
-sionstate or qualityconfusion, depression
-somecharacterized by,
group of
foursome, quarrelsome
-sophywisdom, knowledgegeosophy, philosophy
-tomyto cutcraniotomy, lobotomy
-tystate, condition
or quality
honesty, loyalty
-ureaction, conditionclosure, failure
-wisein what manner or
direction
clockwise, lengthwise
-ymade up of,
characterized
curly, messy

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