Prefixes and suffixes are sets of letters that are added to the beginning or end of another word. They are not words in their own right and cannot stand on their own in a sentence: if they are printed on their own they have a hyphen before or after them.
Common Suffixes in English
A suffix is a group of letters that you can add to the end of a word to change its form, or meaning, or both. For example, the verb read is made into the noun reader by adding the suffix -er. Similarly, read is made into the adjective readable by adding the suffix -able.
*In American English, verbs end with -ize, versus British English, in which the spelling changes to –ise.
- American English: finalize, realize, emphasize, standardize
- British English: finalise, realise, emphasise, standardise
Prefixes in English
A prefix is a small part of a word, usually just a couple of letters, that we put at the front of a base word to change its meaning. For example, the prefix un, spelt u-n, is added to happy, to make unhappy, which means not happy.
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