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Prefix + Root Words + Suffix => New Words

Words... Rudyard Kipling called them once “the most powerful drug used by mankind”. Not just the words as such, but also the activity of making new words from root. By simple addition: prefix + root words + suffix we get a wide new variety of words. For example, from the root word instruct we can form 'instruction' 'instructor' and 'reinstruct'. 

A prefix is the cluster of letters you add in front of the root words: 'un-' 'in-', 'mis-', 'en-', etc.

A suffix is the cluster of letters you add at the end of the root words: '-(t)ly', '-ful', '-ment', etc.

The root word is the main form of the word, and it is also called the base word.

Let's see some examples, followed by an exercise:


un + do = undo

mis + manage = mismanage

en + trust= entrust


believe + able = believable

manage + ed = managed

trust + ed = trusted


un + do + able = undoable;

mis + manage + ed = mismanaged;

en + trust + ed = entrusted

You can also change the function of a word, by adding a prefix or a suffix to the root word.

i) You can make NOUNS from VERBS, by adding a suffix: actor, teacher, writer, student, pianist

ii) You can make NOUNS from ADJECTIVES, by adding a suffix: difference, ignorance

iii) You can make ADVERBS from ADJECTIVES, by adding a suffix: happily, slowly, legally

Which one's which then?

Prefix + Root Word + Suffix

Please note that all fields followed by an asterisk must be filled in.

Please enter the word that you see below.


If you didn't feel inclined to do the exercise and submit the result, try to make your own sentences with words formed by adding a prefix/suffix and post them in the comments below.

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