List of Prefixes & Suffixes with Examples for General English

If you know the usage of Prefixes and Suffixes in the English Language well you will be able to get through the Verbal Ability section of Competitive exams easily. 

English or Verbal Ability is a common and important section of most of the Government exams. To master the verbal ability section one needs to have a good knowledge of English vocabulary and word formation. 

Hence, the article aims to impart knowledge on the formation of words in the English Language by giving the usage and rules for prefixes and suffixes with examples. You will also be able to download the list of Prefixes and Suffixes for future reference. 

English Prefix And Suffix PDF:-Download PDF Here

Are you an Aspirant of Government exams? Give an edge to your preparation with –

English Prefixes & Suffixes With Examples

Prefix and Suffix are common in English and their correct use can help enhance the language skills and deal with the unknown vocabulary easily. Let us understand what does prefix and suffix mean.

What is Prefix?

A Prefix is a word that is added at the beginning of the root word to form a new word. A prefix word does not have any meaning of its own but when added to a root word it modifies the meaning of the word. Prefix makes a word negative, indicate opinion or show repetition.

Prefix examples:

  • Un (Prefix) + Happy (Root Word) = Unhappy (new word)
  • Dis (Prefix) + Organised (Root word) = Disorganised (new word)

What is Suffix?

Like Prefixes, Suffixes are also words that are added to the root word to form a new word but suffixes are added at the end of the root word. Suffix does change the meaning of the word it is added to but not make the word opposite or negative as prefix do, it simply changes the class of the root word like a verb is changed into an adjective by adding a suffix. 

Suffix examples:

  • Forget (root word) + Ful (Suffix) = Forgetful (New word)
  • Happy (root word) + Ness (Suffix) = Happiness (New word)

To understand the concept of English Root Words candidates can visit the linked page.

List of Prefixes & Suffixes with Examples – Download PDF

Also, go through important rules and concepts based articles given below for assistance in the preparation of the English section.

Letter Writing Format Reading Comprehension Precis Writing Format
Article Rules Rules and List of Conjunctions  Sentence Rearrangement & Para jumbles

You can find more such articles that are based on conceptual topics, important rules and lists on the General English for Competitive exams page. 

Rules to Add Prefixes & Suffixes

  • Use a hyphen (-) when adding a prefix to a common noun. For example Pro-American, Anti-religion, etc. 
  • Hyphen is must to be used after prefixes Self and Ex, example, Self-dependant, self-esteem, Ex-husband, Ex-employee, etc.
  • When adding a Prefix, do not change the spelling of the original word or root word; Examples: Undo, disappear, irrelevant, cooperation, irrational, etc.
  • Repetition of letters is possible when adding a prefix. Basically, point number 3 (do not change spelling) is to be followed even if the spelling results in double consonants after adding the prefix.
  • There are certain words that start with prefix but do not have any prefix added to them like the word Uncle.
  • Many Prefixes can have the same meaning such as ‘in’ ‘im’ ‘un’ all these prefixes mean ‘opposite of’ or ‘not’.
  • Similarly, many Suffixes also have the same meaning. Like the suffix, ‘er’ when added to any word will denote the action performed by the person. Example – Teacher, Gardener, Performer etc. 
  • Suffix ‘er’ is also added towards the end of adjectives or adverbs to help compare two things. Example- Slow becomes slower, soon becomes sooner, fast becomes faster etc.
  • When suffix is added, the spelling of the base word can change. This is mostly the case when the base words end with y or e. For example – happy becomes happier, costly become costlier with the suffix ‘er’, manage becomes managing, make becomes making with the suffix ‘ing’.
  • The Prefix that ends in a vowel, ‘a’ than the base word starting with a consonant will use it as it is, like atypical, amoral, etc.

Given below are a few important Questions And Answers based on frequently asked English language topics:

One Word Substitution Questions & Answers Tenses Questions And Answers
Prepositions Questions And Answers Idioms and Phrases Questions and Answers

For more concept-based question and answers and English exercises check the verbal ability page linked here. 

List of Suffixes & Prefixes

The Prefixes and Suffixes are based on English vocabulary which is asked in the form of fill in the blanks under the Verbal Ability section of competitive exams. Check the list of Suffixes and prefixes with examples and download the Prefix and Suffix PDF for reference.

List of Prefix in English
Prefix Word Meanings Prefix Examples
a without amoral, apolitical, atypical
ante before antecedent, antedate
anti against, opposing anti-war, anti-bacterial
arch more, extreme arch-capitalist, arch-rebel
auto self auto-dial, auto-rotate
bi two, twice bilingual, bisect, bi-monthly
circum round circumnavigate, circumvent
co with co-author, co-edit
col, com, con with collaborate, combine, connect
contra, counter against, opposing contraception, counterclaim, counteract
de opposite action declassify, destroy
dia across diagonal, diameter
dis not, opposite of disagree, disprove, distrust, disbelief
dys abnormal dyslexia, dysfunctional
e electronic e-book, e-mail, e-governance
eco related to environment eco-tourism, eco-disaster
en(m) cause to encode, embrace
equi equal equidistant, equilateral
ex previously, former ex-president, ex-student
extra very extra-bright, extra-strong
extra outside extra-curricular, extrasensory, extraordinary
fore before Forecast, forelimb, 
hyper too much hyperactive, hypersensitive
il, im, in, ir not, opposite of illogical, impossible, indistinct, irrational
in(m) movement to, in input, inset, intake, implant, import
inter between, connected interrelated, interact
intra within intra-generational, intramuscular
kilo thousand kilogram, kilometer, kilowatt
macro large macroeconomics, macro-scale
mal bad, badly malfunction, malpractice
micro small micro-economics, micro-scale
mid middle midway, midsummer
mis wrongly, incorrect mistake, mistranslate, misunderstanding
mono one mono-centric, monoculture
multi many multicultural, multi-level
neo something old in new form Neoclassical, 
non not non-believer, non-competitive, nonsense
out more, to a great extent outnumber, outlive, outburst, outrage
over over, above, too much overlook, overcook, overhead, overheat
post after post-examination, post-modern, post-independence
pre before pre-industrial, preview, pre-war, pre-independence
pro in favour of pro-feminist, pro-liberal, proactive
pseudo false, pseudo-intellectual, pseudo-science
quasi almost, not quite quasi-academic, quasi-legal
re again rediscover, redefine, rename, return, rejuvenate
retro backwards retrogressive, retrospective
semi partly, half semicircle, semi-organic, semi-precious, semifinals
sub part of something, under, beneath, subway, submarine, subsection
super above or bigger superpower, supersonic, superstar
trans across transcontinental, transcribe, transport, transit
ultra extreme ultra-sensitive, ultrasound, ultramodern
un not unusual, uncertain, unusual, unscrew, unplug, unfriendly
under under, beneath, insufficient underpower, underemployed, undersea
well useful, successful well-designed, well-written. well-established

Check the links given below to know the difference between important but confusing words in English language:

Similarly, Candidates can go through the 100 Difference Between Articles for Revision in the given link that are based on different topics, subjects and concepts.  

List of Suffix in English
Suffix Word Meaning Suffix Examples
-able, ible can be done doable, identifiable, predictable, possible
-al, ial has property of personal, partial, legal,
-ant having an effect disinfectant, coolant, accelerant
–based performing a major part of computer-based, oil-based, genetic-based
–cy state or quality accuracy, literacy, urgency,
-ed past tense of verb turned, ruined, cooked, cleaned
–ee person affected by something employee, interviewee, trainee, addressee
-en made of, being made golden, broaden, lighten
-er comparative higher, lighter, sooner, later
-er one who perform or do something doer, painter, singer, performer
-est superlative slightest, lightest, best, biggest
–free without hasslefree, carefree, debt-free, pain-free
–ful full of grateful, forgetful, fearful, careful, joyful
–hood condition, period, state childhood, brotherhood, adulthood, motherhood
–ic having property of linguistic, photographic, electric, democratic, heroic
–ics study of genetics, electronics, aeronautics
–ify giving quality to something defy, clarify, purify, solidify, classify
–ing present participle cooking, dancing, running
–ism behaviour or belief liberalism, modernism, heroism
-ist one who follows certain behaviours or belief Philanthropist, anarchist, optimist, activist
–(t)ion act or process reaction, action, projection
–(i)ty state of extremity, infinity, sanity
–(t)ive adjective active, motive, positive
–ize, -ise bring about a condition or state modernize/modernise, colonize/colonise
–less without fearless, careless, meaningless
–like resemble another alike, bird-like, child-like
–ly, -y having \quickly, quietly, wordy, handy
–ment action, process fulfilment, enjoyment, development
–ness state of, quality Happiness, newness, kindness, effectiveness, openness
–ocracy type of ruling body democracy, autocracy, meritocracy, bureaucracy
–ocrat person ruling autocrat, technocrat, democrat
–ology, -ological study of archaeology, geology, biology, physiological, biological,
–ous having callous, joyous, religious
–proof safe, protected against stain-proof, waterproof, dustproof, soundproof
–ship state or experience of specific position partnership, entrepreneurship, professorship, leadership

Candidates preparing for various government exams can check the following links for assistance in comprehensive preparation:

Prefixes & Suffixes Practice Questions

Directions – Fill in the blanks in the given sentences by adding correct prefixes or suffixes to the given base word.

  1. He cracked the Civils Service Examination, he was ___ (success) for the second time. 
  2. Ria is ___ (child), she was crying a minute ago and suddenly she started laughing. 
  3. They are ___ (practice), perhaps they will win the ___ (champion) trophy.
  4. My brother’s ___ (aim) is to be a ____ (mathematics) when he grows up.
  5. He is ___ (manners), he does not know how to behave with elders.
  6. The current ___ (govern) did as promised, the roads of the old city are now ___ (broad).
  7. A ___ (combine) of motivation and hard work can fulfil your dreams.
  8. The doctors have advised her to be ___ (stress) only then she can overcome the __ (weak).
  9. She ___ (behave) in the class because of which teachers ___ (agree) to let her sit in the class. 
  10. College days are  ___ (memory) days because here only we build ___ (relation) that are never ___ (forget).

 English Prefixes & Suffixes With Examples:-Download PDF Here

The Prefixes and Suffixes are based on English vocabulary which is asked in the form of fill in the blanks under the Verbal Ability section of competitive exams. 

Candidates preparing for the various government exams can refer to the detailed exam syllabus in the links given below:

Bank Exam Syllabus SSC Syllabus RRB Syllabus
LIC Syllabus UPSC Syllabus UPSC CAPF Syllabus

Government Exam 2023


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