Tuesday, May 22, 2018


Prefixes are added to the beginning of a word to create a new word.
They contribute specific types of meaning. For instance, when we add the prefix pre- to the word 1945, we create a new word pre-1945, meaning before 1945. The following are the main prefixes used in English, together with the kinds of meaning they contribute.

against,opposed to      anti-depressant, anti-nuclear, anti-war,

to reverse something decriminalise, de-activate, de-commission,

reverse of              disagreement, disapprove, dislike, disqualify,
remove something disambiguate, disarm, disenfranchise,                                                 dislodge

 beyond    extraterrestrial, extra-curricular, extra-mural,

  il-, im-, in-, ir 
  not   illegal, illegible, illegitimate, 
           impatient, impossible, impolite,
           inappropriate, inconceivable, intolerant,
           irregular, irrelevant, irresponsible
between      international, inter-racial, intergalactic,
to do something miscalculate, misconstrue, miskick,
badly or incorrectly  misunderstand

not       non-European, non-resident, non-stick,
after    post-1945, postgraduate, post-colonial, post-war

before  pre-1914, pre-war, predetermined, pre-set

in favour of   pro-life, pro-democracy, pro-Europe

to do something again re-apply, re-design, re-introduce, repaint

reverse of    unclear, undemocratic, unnecessary, unusual,
remove something   undress, unleash, unmask, unscrew

Thursday, May 17, 2018

The structure of words

Many words in English have a recognisable internal structure. For
example, the word unsuccessful can be broken down into the following three parts:

                        un + success + ful

The first part, un-, is called the prefix. The second part – success – is a complete word in itself, and is called the base. The last part, -ful, is called the suffix.

                         Prefix          Base         Suffix  

                         un               success        ful      

Prefixes and suffixes are added to existing words to create new words.