Vocabulary 17 - Prefixes 1
We all know that the English language is a versatile one and there are thousands of words that you have learned with their meanings fairly clear. Eight parts of speech contribute to the full complement of words. Some of these words are known as root words or base words. From these root words we can create more words and utilise them for communicating more effectively.
One of the ways to create new words is by adding a prefix to a root word. For instance, if you look at a word such as SPELLING we know exactly what it means. Now, we can form a new word from spelling by adding a prefix. If we add the prefix MIS, we get the new word MISSPELLING. The meaning of misspelling is 'incorrect spelling'. How did we get this meaning? The answer lies in the meaning of the prefix.
MIS means wrong or bad and when you add this prefix to a word you get a new meaning. The prefix MIS is consistently used with the same meaning. For instance, if we add MIS to FORTUNE we get MISFORTUNE, which means bad luck.
We can add many more prefixes and get new words. A large number of prefixes are available to us and it is useful to know what they represent. Based on their meanings you can identify the meaning of the new word formed by adding it.
Prefixes are made up of either single letters or multiple letters. The prefixes un, re, in, im and dis are the most used prefixes and you can recognise them in words such as unreliable, reestablish, inability, impolite and disrobe. We have already looked at the use of these prefixes in the earlier quizzes. In the quiz that follows we look at more prefixes.