Using Prefixes to Expand Your Vocabulary
You must understand what a root word is in order to understand what a prefix is.
A root word is a word you can change into a new word by adding a beginning and/or an ending.
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.
|Meaning of Prefix
|Words Formed Using the Prefix
|replay, resend, replace
|hyperactive, hypersensitive, hyperventilate
|unclear, unsure, undecided
|triangle, tricycle, triweekly
|prepay, prepackage, predate
|misconduct, misspell, misunderstand
|subway, substandard, submarine
Some More Prefixes
Here are some more prefixes and their meanings. You can add these prefixes to many root words to form new words and expand your vocabulary.
To build your vocabulary using prefixes, do the following:
- When you see a prefix whose meaning you do not know, look up its meaning in a dictionary.
- Write the prefix and its meaning where you can refer to it easily and often.
- Review the meaning of these prefixes from time to time.
- Form words by adding these prefixes to root words.
- Use these words when you speak and write.
Watch your vocabulary grow!