Name: __________________________________________ Date: _________________________
1. Prefixes: A prefix is a letter or group of letters that are attached before the root/base word.
prefix = attach (fix) + before (pre)
There are 4 types of prefixes:
i. Number Prefixes: A prefix can tell how many of something the word contains. For
example, uni- = one (unicycle has “one wheel”). Other number prefixes include: bi- = 2;
tri- = 3; penta- = 5; hexa- = 6; dec- = 10; cent- = 100
ii. Negating Prefixes: A prefix can negate a word by meaning “not.” The most common
negating prefixes are: un- (unhappy). Others include: dis- = not, asunder; in1- = not;
mis- = wrongly non- = not, nothing;
iii. Directional Prefixes: This is the most common function of a prefix: it sends the base/root
of the word in a specific direction or to a specific location. For example, the prefix exmeans out, so an exit tells you to “go out.”
Other directional prefixes include:
ad- = to, toward, at, add to; con-/com- = together, with; de- = down, away, off, from,
removal, reversal; dis- = apart, reversal, opposite of (Note: dis- can also be negating);
peri- = around; pro- = forward; re- = back, again; sub- = under, below;
super- = over, above, beyond;
in2- = in, inside, within; per- = through
iv. Intensifying Prefixes: A prefix can have an intensifying force, meaning “very,
thoroughly, fully.” Some directional prefixes can be intensifying. For example the prefix
per- meaning through (as in perforate = pierce through), can also mean very or
thoroughly (as in perfect = thoroughly done).
2. Suffixes: A suffix is a letter or group of letters that are attached to the end of base/root word.
a. suffix = attach (fix) + secondary (suf-) Please note: “suf-” is the assimilated form of subb. There are 2 types of suffixes. They either change the part of speech or modify the base.
Inflectional Suffixes: These modify the base. The basic meaning of the base/root word
remains unchanged. For example, the plural suffix –s/ -es in the words dogs or bases
indicates there is more than one. Other inflectional suffixes include: -ed = past tense, er/-est = comparative (taller, tallest); -ing = progressive/continuing (walking).
Derivational Suffixes: When added, the new word has a new meaning, and is usually a
different part of speech. The new meaning is “derived” from the original meaning. For
example, when –ure is added to word “expose” (a verb) it becomes “exposure” (a noun).
Other derivational suffixes include: -ist and –or = a person who – (noun suffixes);
-al = pertaining to (an adjective suffix); -ize = to cause (a verb suffix).