Want to expand your vocabulary? Figure out the meaning of an unknown word? If so, learning to identify prefixes and understanding their meaning will help you do just that.
What's a prefix? It's a word form that attaches itself to the beginning of another word (the base word) to change the word's meaning. For example, the prefix ex means "former." Connect it to the base word friend, and you're no longer on friendly terms—you're an ex-friend. Big difference!
But what about ex in the word exclude? Is that a prefix, too? No, it isn't. It's a combining form meaning "out," and it attaches itself to a root word, not a base word. Remove the ex, and you're left with the root clude, which makes no sense by itself.
Have fun increasing your word knowledge with these common English prefixes and combining forms.
Meaning 1:four, fourth
Examples:This exercise strengthens your quadriceps, a group of four muscles.
He underwent quadruple bypass surgery.
Québec City celebrated its quadricentennial in 2008.
Example:In a quadratic equation, the variable is squared.
Example:The Dionne quintuplets were born in Corbeil, Ontario.
Examples:I'll have to redo the calculations.
Thank you for re-electing me to the House of Commons.
You'll have to re-form the clay.
Example:She is entitled to retroactive pay since she has been acting in her new position for three months.
Example:Rhinoplasty is plastic surgery on the nose.
Example:Rhododendrons produce fragrant blossoms.
Example:A seismologist studies earthquakes.
Example:We arranged the chairs in a semicircle for the ceremony.
Meaning 2:in part, partially, somewhat
Example:Prince Edward County produces excellent semi-dry white wines.
Meaning 3:twice in a period of time
Example:The conference is held semi-annually.
Meaning:one and a half
Example:Canada will celebrate its sesquicentennial in 2017.
Example:Sociology is the study of social behaviour among humans.
Example:The music had a somniferous effect on the child: she fell asleep.
Examples:Marine biologists used sonar technology to save the stranded whale.
An aircraft breaking the sound barrier makes a sonic boom.
Example:You can easily install tiles over this subfloor.
Meaning 2:lower in rank
Example:She chairs a subcommittee on human rights.
Meaning 3:next to, nearly
Example:Come visit Canada's subarctic regions.
Example:Table sugar is also known as sucrose.
Meaning 1:over, more than
Examples:A supersonic jet travels at speeds greater than the speed of sound.
Superman is a fictional character with supernatural powers.
Meaning 2:to an intense or excessive degree
Example:Jessica fainted when she saw the supermagnified image of the spider.
Meaning 3:greater than others of the same type
Example:A superbug is resistant to almost all antibiotics.
Examples:The human body is not perfectly symmetrical.
A synonym for the word "beautiful" is "attractive."