Understanding Prefixes

Understanding Prefixes

A prefix is a word part added at the beginning of another word to change its meaning. Prefixes are commonly used in the English language to create new words or modify the meaning of existing ones. Understanding prefixes is important in building vocabulary and deciphering the meanings of unfamiliar words.

How to Solve Prefixes Questions in Exams:

  1. Identify the Prefix: When you encounter a word with a prefix, the first step is to recognize the prefix itself. Common prefixes include “un-“, “re-“, “pre-“, “dis-“, “mis-“, and many others.
  2. Understand the Meaning: Know the meanings associated with common prefixes. For example, “un-” usually means “not” or “opposite,” while “re-” often means “again” or “back.”
  3. Break Down the Word: Divide the word into its prefix and the root word (the part without the prefix). This helps you analyze the word’s structure and meaning.
  4. Combine the Meanings: Combine the meaning of the prefix with the meaning of the root word to understand the word as a whole. For example, “unhappy” means “not happy.”
  5. Context Matters: Consider the context of the sentence or passage. Sometimes, the prefix’s meaning might be modified by the context. Pay attention to the surrounding words for clues.
  6. Practice: To improve your prefix skills, practice with vocabulary exercises, quizzes, or reading comprehension. The more you encounter prefixes, the better you’ll become at deciphering their meanings.

Prefixes are powerful tools for expanding your vocabulary and understanding the English language. By mastering them, you’ll be better equipped to tackle word-related questions in exams and enhance your overall language skills.

Prefixes Table

Common Prefixes

Prefix Meaning Example
a-, an- without amoral, anarchy
anti- against antidote, antifreeze
auto- self automobile, autonomy
bi- two bicycle, bilateral
co- with or together cooperate, coordinate
de- reverse or remove deactivate, deconstruct
dis- not or opposite disagree, disapprove
ex- former or out of ex-president, exit
fore- before forecast, foretell
in- not or into invisible, invade
inter- between or among international, interact
mis- wrong or badly misbehave, misunderstand
non- not nonstop, nonfiction
over- excessive overconfident, overload
pre- before prepay, preview
re- again or back reapply, revisit
sub- under or below submarine, subpar
super- above or beyond superhuman, superstar
trans- across or beyond transport, transform
un- not unhappy, undo
under- beneath or below undersea, underestimate
vice- deputy or substitute vice-president, vice-chair
ultra- beyond or extreme ultraviolet, ultrasound
semi- half semicircle, semifinal
tri- three tricycle, triangle
multi- many multicolored, multimedia
micro- small or millionth microscope, microwave
mega- large or million megabyte, megaton
macro- large or long macroeconomics, macrocosm
mono- one monologue, monotonous
poly- many or much polyglot, polygraph
post- after or behind postwar, postgraduate
pre- before prepay, preview
tele- distant or far telephone, telepathy
uni- one or single unicycle, universe
out- beyond or outside outcast, outnumber
over- excessive overdo, overeat
pro- for or in favor of pro-life, proponent
para- beside or beyond paranormal, paralegal
hypo- under or less than hypothermia, hypodermic

Conclusion: Understanding prefixes is a valuable skill that can aid in vocabulary comprehension and language proficiency. Whether for exams or daily communication, a grasp of prefixes enhances your ability to decipher and utilize words effectively.

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