What Are Prefixes?

What Are Prefixes?

A prefix is added to the front of a word to change its meaning

Both prefixes and suffixes (added to the back) are affixes. The big question with prefixes is whether to use a hyphen with a prefix. Here is a lesson about hyphens in prefixes.

Examples of Prefixes

Here are some examples of prefixes:

  • microscope
  • (The prefix is micro-.)
  • tripod
  • (The prefix is tri-.)
  • devalue
  • (The prefix is de-.)
Most Common Prefixes. The four most common prefixes account for over 95% of prefixed words. They are: dis-, in-, re-, and un-.

A List of Common Prefixes

Here is a list of common prefixes with some examples:

PrefixMeaningExample
a-, an-withoutamoral, atypical
ante-beforeantecedent, antenatal
anti-againstanti-establishment
auto-selfautopilot
circum-aroundcircumvent
co-withco-conspirator, co-pilot
com-, con-withcompanion, contact
contra-againstcontradiction
de-offdelist, devalue
dis-notdisappear
en-put intoenclose, envelop
ex-out of, formerextract, ex-governor
extra-beyond, more thanextracurricular
hetero-differentheterosexual
homo-samehomonym, homophone
hyper-over, morehyperactive
il-, im-, in-, ir-not, withoutillegal, impractical, inconsiderate, irresponsible
in-intoinsert
inter-betweeninternet, intersection,
intra-betweenintranet, intravenous
macro-largemacronutrients
micro-smallmicroscope
mono-onemonocle
non-not, withoutnonentity, nonstarter,
omni-all, everyomnipresent, omniscient
post-afterpost-mortem
pre-, pro-before, forwardprecede, project
sub-undersubmarine, substandard
syn-same timesynchronize
super-abovesupervisor, superhuman
trans-acrosstransmit
tri-threetripod, triceratops
un-notundone, unfinished,
uni-oneunicorn, unilaterally




See also:

Hyphens in prefixes
What are affixes?
What are suffixes?
Glossary of grammatical terms
 
PREFIXES AND CAPITAL LETTERS

A prefix is not written with a capital letter unless it starts the sentence or is an integral part of a proper noun.

  • I cannot attend the pro-MacDonalds rally.
  • I cannot attend the Annual Anti-Nazi Seminar.
  • I cannot attend this year's Anti-Nazi rally.
Read about hyphens with prefixes.
 
 
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