What is a Prefix?
To understand what a prefix is, it is imperative to first understand what a root word is. That said, a root word is a word that can be changed into a new word by adding a beginning and/or an ending. In this light therefore, a prefix is a beginning that is added to a root word. For example, take the root word “purpose.” By adding the prefix “multi” to “purpose,” the new word “multipurpose” is formed.
Every prefix has its own meaning. When added to a root word, a prefix changes the meaning of the root word to which it is added. The root word “purpose” means “an aim or a goal one wishes to achieve.” The prefix “multi” means “many.” The new word “multipurpose” means “designed or used for many purposes.”
Learning to identify prefixes and knowing their meanings are great ways to expand your vocabulary. An expanded vocabulary will increase your listening and speaking comprehension. It will also help you communicate more effectively when writing or taking tests.
Some Common Prefixes
Here are some common prefixes. The meaning of each prefix is shown, as well as words that can be formed by adding the prefix to root words. Using these prefixes and others will expand your vocabulary…
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