Vocabulary and Prefix Help

Updated on Sep 8, 2011

Prefix Help

In order to be able to unlock the meaning of many words in the English language, it is useful for you to understand what a prefix is. A prefix is a word part at the beginning of a word that changes or adds to the meaning of the root word in some way. By learning some common prefixes, you will be able to decipher the meaning of many words that are unfamiliar to you. After you have completed the exercises in this chapter, you will be acquainted with the meanings of some common prefixes, which will improve your reading, speaking, and listening vocabularies.

      prefix: ante means before
      going before in time
      The VCR was a(n) _____ to the DVD player.
      prefix: anti means against
      revulsion, any object of strong dislike
      I have a severe _____ toward cockroaches.
      prefix: circum and circ mean around
      to go around; to catch in a trap; to gain superiority over; to prevent from happening
      I tried to _____ any ill will between my two employees by giving them both a promotion.
      prefix: con means with, together
      agreement, especially in opinion
      The family finally reached a _____ and decided to adopt a dog from the pound.
      prefix: contr means against
      a discussion of a question in which opposing views clash
      There is a _____ in my building about whether or not to implement a flip tax.
      prefix: dec means ten
      to destroy or kill a large portion of something, to take or destroy a tenth part of something
      Humans continue to _____ the rainforest every day.
      prefix: de means down, away from
      to lower in grade or position
      The company had to _____ the vice president due to an economic downturn.
      prefix: dis means not, opposite of
      not motivated by personal interest or selfish motives
      He is the most _____ politician running for office this term.
      prefix: eu means good, well
      the use of a word or phrase that is considered less distasteful or offensive than another
      "Bachelorette" is a _____ for "spinster."
      prefix: ex means out of, away from
      going beyond what is reasonable and proper
      The _____ cost of real estate in the big cities forces many people to move to the suburbs.
      prefix: il means not, opposite
      not able to be read
      Because my handwriting is _____, I always type my papers.
      prefix: inter means between
      stopping and starting again at intervals _____ storms made for a turbulent flight.
      prefix: mal means bad
      having an evil disposition toward others
      After losing her job, she became _____ toward those who became successful.
      prefix: pre means before
      a forerunner, a harbinger, one who or that which goes before
      My boss's _____ left the department in shambles.
      prefix: pro means before
      a forecast; especially in medicine
      Even though my dog is old, her _____ for recovery is excellent.
      prefix: retro means back, again
      to think about the past
      looking back on or thinking about things past
      In _____, I realized that perhaps I was too harsh with her.
      prefix: sub means under
      inferior to or placed below another in rank, power, or importance
      a person or thing of lesser power or importance than another
      to treat as inferior or less important
      No one wanted to work for her because she treated those who were _____ to her without respect.
      prefix: syn, sym means with or together
      putting of two or more things together to form a whole
      The _____ between the two elements created a poisonous mixture.
      prefix: trans means across
      to go beyond the limits of; to overstep; to exceed
      Knowing him, he _____ will this setback and still win the marathon.
      prefix: tri means three
      of little worth or importance
      Although everyone was excited about the new development, it became clear that it was _____ and would not benefit the company in any way.


Make a list of some other words that use the same prefixes. Look them up and make flash cards!

Practice exercises for this study guide can be found at: Vocabulary and Prefix Practice

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