Posted by: Jason | January 30, 2011

The End and the Beginning.

Ok, this is not a post about the Mayan prediction that the world will end in 2012. Rather, I want to dig into a bit of grammar and take a closer look at prefixes and suffixes. I suppose I should explain that a bit before we dive in.

A prefix is a short group of letters that is added to the beginning of a word and a suffix is added to the end of the word. We do this to change the meaning of the word without having to make a completely new word. Probably the easiest suffix is “ly”. You can add “ly” to just about any adjective to make it an adverb. So, quick (an adjective) becomes quickly (an adverb). For example:

“The quick rabbit jumped over the dog.” can be changed to “The rabbit jumped quickly over the dog.” and the meaning is changed. In the first sentence, the rabbit is fast, but in the second sentence, it’s the jump that is fast.

There are all sorts of prefixes and suffixes that you can use to change the meaning of words. Most of these come from either Latin or Greek. Also, most of them can be added on top of each other to create completely new words. So, the word “start”, which means “to begin”, can be changed to “restart”, which means “to begin again”. You could add the suffix “able” – which means that something can be done – to restart and get “restartable”, which changes the word from a verb to an adjective and changes the meaning from “to begin again” to “something that can be started again”. So, I could do this:

“It’s a good thing my computer is restartable. It freezes up all the time.”

Ok, maybe not the best example in the world, but, you should get the idea. For a very good list of suffixes and prefixes, take a look at This Site Here.

And, because you need some homework, here’s something you can do on your own:

Prefixes and Suffixes Worksheet

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Responses

  1. I checked that site. It’s very useful !! I want to study more in the class 🙂

  2. I tried under the suffixes and prefixes’s list’s exercise.It was difficult.


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