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Prefixes & suffixes


Prefixs are added to the beginning of a word to make a new word, eg mis+take. Some common prefixes are 'mis', 'dis', 're', 'for', 'anti', 'ante', 'sub', 'un' and 'in'. New words are made by placing a prefix in front of a word. It is helpful to know the meanings of prefixes. Prefix 're' means again, therefore reappear means to appear again.

Common prefix meanings
pre - before
mis - bad(ly)
sub - under
inter - between
semi - half

The following prefixes of 'im', 'ir', 'il', 'in' and 'un' can be added to the beginning of words to make them into a negative.

im + possible = impossible
ir + responsible = irresponsible
il + legal = illegal
in + active = inactive
un + happy = unhappy


Letters added to the end of a main word are called suffixes. Common suffixes are: 'ed', 'ful', 'ly', 'ing', 'able', 'ance', 'ence', 'ness'.

harm + less = harmless

When 'full' is added to a word you drop the final 'l'. If you add 'ly' to any word ending with 'ful' you keep the existing 'l'.

hand + full = handful
rest + full = restful
restful + ly = restfully


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