According to Oxford Dictionaries.com, 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.
Phonicsontheweb.com explains that “an English word can consist of three parts: the root, a prefix, and a suffix” as follows:
- The root contains the basic meaning of the word.
- Adding a prefix to the beginning changes the meaning and makes a new word
- 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 Dictionaries.com 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.
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