Prefixes are particles or syllables added to the beginning of a word to modify its meaning.
He is sleeping in an uncomfortable position.
He is disobeying the rules.
2. Types of prefixes
There are different types of prefixes, but they can be grouped into two categories:
- Prefixes that allow us to form antonyms, that is, the opposite of a word. Although most of these prefixes can modify nouns, adverbs, and even verbs, we will focus on adjectives. Some of the most common ones are:
Prefix Root word Opposite Root word Opposite IN- Convenient Inconvenient Correct Incorrect Complete Incomplete Secure Insecure IM- Possible Impossible Polite Impolite Patient Impatient Mature Immature UN- Reliable Unreliable Fair Unfair Friendly Unfriendly Happy Unhappy DIS- Honest Dishonet Obedient Disobedient Satisfied Dissatisfied Organized Disorganized IR- Regular Irregular Responsible Irresponsable Relevant Irrelevant Resistible Irresistible IL- Legal Illegal Logical Illogical Legible Illegible Legitimate IllegitimateThere are no established rules for using these prefixes, so we will have to look in the dictionary to know which one we should use.
- Prefixes that have a meaning of their own. They can modify verbs, nouns and adjectives. Some of the most common ones are:
Prefix Root word New word Root word New word ANTI- Social Antisocial Virus Antivirus EX- Boyfriend Ex-boyfriend President Ex-President MIS- Spelt Misspelt Behave Misbehave OVER- Crowded Overcrowded Weight Overweight RE- Do Redo Paint Repaint UNDER- Cooked Undercooked Paid Underpaid
Prefixes are groups of letters added to the beginning of a word to modify its meaning. They can modify a noun, a verb, an adjective or an adverb.
|IN-||Convenient / Inconvenient||ANTI-||Capitalist / Anti-capitalist|
|IM-||Polite / Impolite||EX-||Girlfriend / Ex-girlfriend|
|UN-||Do / Undo||MIS-||Understand / Misunderstand|
|DIS-||Like / Dislike||OVER-||React / Overreact|
|IR-||Responsible / Irresponsible||RE-||Build / Rebuild|
|IL-||Legal / Illegal||UNDER-||Weight / Underweight|