The prefix is a syllable put at the beginning of a word to add to or change its meaning. Prefixes help to form new words. The word “prefix” itself makes use of the prefix “pre,” which means “before.”
“Pre” means “before.”
“Fix” means “to fit firmly.”
Therefore “fix” a prefix “before” another word to add to its meaning. On top of that, each prefix has a “fixed” meaning. That is, the meaning the prefix carries is the same every time it is used in front of a “root word.”
Therefore: Prefix + Root Word = New word.
Here are some examples of prefixes:
pre – before
bi – two
de – down, away from
inter – between
dis – not
re – again
trans – across
The italicized words below are made up of the prefix “pre” plus another word. Each italicized word therefore, will carry the meaning of “before” within it.
- We watched a preview of the movie.
- The plane was a prewar model.
- Because the food is precooked, you need only warm it.
- A good precaution against malaria is mosquito repellent.
- Before entering the club, shall we presuppose that you are all twenty years of age?
- A busy person is too preoccupied to engage in meaningless chatter.
- Do not prejudge anyone: listen to all sides of the story.
- The man acted like a prehistoric animal and reminded us of the dinosaur.
- The school is designed for preadult students.
- The students fell into their prearranged positions.
Write sentences with the words below. Explain how the prefix attached to it adds to its meaning.
intercollegiate, interwoven, international, interchange, biplane, biped, bisect, bimonthly, deform, decry, dethrone, depopulate, reappoint, recapture, remount, reform, disable, disservice, disconnect, disappear, transplant, transcontinental, tranship, transaction.