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Note 252 – The use of Prefixes and Suffixes

According to Oxford, prefixes and suffixes are not words in their own right but a group of letters added to the beginning and end of other words to form new ones.  Prefixes such as omni- and un- can be placed at the beginning of bus and cover to make omnibus and uncover, whereas suffixes such as -able and -ise can be placed at the end of suit and special to make suitable and specialise explains that “an English word can consist of three parts: the root, a prefix, and a suffix” as follows:

  1. The root contains the basic meaning of the word.
  2. Adding a prefix to the beginning changes the meaning and makes a new word
  3. Adding a suffix to the end not only changes the meaning, but also the word form. 

An example of the third point above is that the word suit can be both a noun ‘he wears a suit to work’ and a verb ‘they suit each other’, but when the suffix -able is added to the verb, it changes form and becomes an adjective ‘cream is a suitable alternative to icecream’.

An interesting prefix that the Oxford mentions is the letter e- which stands for electronic and has been tagged onto many words to form ebook, email and so on.

That’s all for today.

Until tomorrow…

Freelance Writer
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About Sandra Madeira

I am a full-time working mum with a passion for writing and inspiring others. Subjects I tend to blog about are life skills, parenting, decluttering, worklife balance, etc. At the moment I am on a decluttering mission creating space in my house, garden and mind. I have challenged myself to do at least ten minutes a day and write about it. Have a good day! Sandra Freelance Writer


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