EQ: How do you use roots, prefixes, and suffixes to discover the meaning of an unfamiliar word?

Root: the basic component of a word that contains its meaning

  • Examples: Magic is the root of magical; glad is the root of gladly; view is the root of preview.

Prefix: a letter or group of letters placed before a root word to modify the root’s meaning

  • Examples: inter- = between, among; international, interstellar

Suffix: a letter or group of letters placed after a root word to modify the root’s meaning

  • Examples: - ness = state of; goodness, happiness

Hook: Listen to the Prefixes, Suffixes and Roots Rap

Most Commonly-Used Prefixes:

These prefixes make up 97% of all prefixed words.

Rank- Prefix Meaning

  • 1. un- not
  • 2. re- again
  • 3. in, im, il, ir- not
  • 4. dis away- from
  • 5. en, em- in

Frequently-Used Roots

Root Meaning Origin Example

  • aud hear Latin auditorium
  • mis send Latin mission
  • astro star Greek astrology
  • ped foot Latin pedal
  • bio life Greek biology

Most Commonly-Used Suffixes

Suffix Meaning Examples

  • _s, _es plural or verb tense cats, pushes
  • _ed past verb tense, past participle helped, had helped
  • _ing verb tense or noun form indicating on-going action was going, listening
  • _ly how, when, where, or under what conditions slowly
  • _er, _or one who writer, actor

Test your knowledge of Prefixes with the game below!

After reading the information above and completing the practice game, please take the Moodle quiz!