One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
Prefixes and suffixes
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.
Prefixes are added to the beginning of an existing word in order to create a new word with a different meaning. For example:
Suffixes are added to the end of an existing word. For example:
The addition of a suffix often changes a word from one word class to another. In the table above, the verb like becomes the adjective likeable, the noun idol becomes the verb idolize, and the noun child becomes the adjective childish.
Word creation with prefixes and suffixes
Some prefixes and suffixes are part of our living language, in that people regularly use them to create new words for modern products, concepts, or situations. For example:
|word||prefix or suffix||new word|
Email is an example of a word that was itself formed from a new prefix, e-, which stands for electronic. This modern prefix has formed an ever-growing number of other Internet-related words, including e-book, e-cash, e-commerce, and e-tailer.
You can read more about prefixes and suffixes on the OxfordWords blog. Here you will find guidelines, examples, and tips for using prefixes and suffixes correctly.
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