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.
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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.
- 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.
- 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|
|anti||against, opposing||anti-war, anti-bacterial|
|arch||more, extreme||arch-capitalist, arch-rebel|
|bi||two, twice||bilingual, bisect, bi-monthly|
|col, com, con||with||collaborate, combine, connect|
|contra, counter||against, opposing||contraception, counterclaim, counteract|
|de||opposite action||declassify, destroy|
|dis||not, opposite of||disagree, disprove, distrust, disbelief|
|e||electronic||e-book, e-mail, e-governance|
|eco||related to environment||eco-tourism, eco-disaster|
|en(m)||cause to||encode, embrace|
|ex||previously, former||ex-president, ex-student|
|extra||outside||extra-curricular, extrasensory, extraordinary|
|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|
|kilo||thousand||kilogram, kilometer, kilowatt|
|mal||bad, badly||malfunction, malpractice|
|mis||wrongly, incorrect||mistake, mistranslate, misunderstanding|
|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|
|quasi||almost, not quite||quasi-academic, quasi-legal|
|re||again||rediscover, redefine, rename, return, rejuvenate|
|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:
- Difference Between Center and Centre
- Difference Between Principal and Principle
- Difference Between Affect and Effect
- Difference Between Besides and Beside
- Difference Between Program and Programme
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.
- He cracked the Civils Service Examination, he was ___ (success) for the second time.
- Ria is ___ (child), she was crying a minute ago and suddenly she started laughing.
- They are ___ (practice), perhaps they will win the ___ (champion) trophy.
- My brother’s ___ (aim) is to be a ____ (mathematics) when he grows up.
- He is ___ (manners), he does not know how to behave with elders.
- The current ___ (govern) did as promised, the roads of the old city are now ___ (broad).
- A ___ (combine) of motivation and hard work can fulfil your dreams.
- The doctors have advised her to be ___ (stress) only then she can overcome the __ (weak).
- She ___ (behave) in the class because of which teachers ___ (agree) to let her sit in the class.
- College days are ___ (memory) days because here only we build ___ (relation) that are never ___ (forget).
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: