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.
For other examples of my work, please check out www.sandramadeira.com.
- Prefixes (editorspen.wordpress.com)
- Sometimes prefixes and suffixes just don’t add up (michcommunication.wordpress.com)