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GRAMMAR & STRUCTURE — Examples
Prefixes & Suffixes

 
 

Chart of common prefixes

Affix

Meaning

Part of Speech
it is Used With

Example

anti-

against

adjective

Antisocial
He is a very social person (he likes people).
He is a very antisocial person (he doesn't like people).

dis-

not, reverse, absence, separate, remove

verb

Disappear
The man appeared suddenly (he was not here, now he is here).
The man disappeared suddenly (he was here, then he is not here).

en-

to make, have, become

turns a noun into an adjective

Enrage
The dog is full of rage (full of anger).
The enraged dog is barking (the dog has been made angry).

il-

not

adjective

Illegal
Giving money to people is legal (permitted by law).
Stealing money from people is illegal (not permitted by law).

im-

not

adjective

Impolite
The child is very polite (acts in a correct way).
The child is very impolite (acts in a bad way).

in-

not

adjective

Incomplete
The assignment is complete (finished).
The assignment is incomplete (not finished).

ir-

not

adjective

Irregular
The verb is regular (has a pattern).
The verb is irregular (does not have a pattern).

mis-

wrong, bad

verb

Misread
I read the sentence correctly.
I misread the sentence (not correctly).

non-

not

noun / adjective

Nonsense
That sentence makes sense (is logical).
That sentence is nonsense (is not logical).

ob- / op-

against

verb

Oppose
I oppose violence (I do not agree with violence).

pre-

before

verb / adjective / noun

Prepare
I prepared for my trip to Germany by learning some useful German phrases.

un-

not

verb / adjective

Unhappy
I am happy.
I am unhappy (not happy).

re-

again

verb

Remarry
I married in 1995. I divorced in 1999. I remarried in 2001 (married again).


Chart of common suffixes

Affix

Meaning

Part of Speech
it is Used With

Example

-less

without

turns a noun into an adjective

Sleepless
I had a good sleep last night ( I slept well).
I had a sleepless night last night (I did not sleep).

-ful

full of

turns a noun or verb into an adjective

Beautiful
The child is beautiful (full of beauty).

-able

can

turns a verb into an adjective

Breakable
The old cup is breakable (can be broken).

-ly

in a way that is

turns an adjective into an adverb

Slowly
He is a slow walker.
He walks slowly (describes the way he walks).

-er / -or / -ar

the person who does ______

turns a verb into a noun

Painter
I paint houses.
I am a house painter (the person who paints).

-ist

the person who is ______

noun

Dentist
I am a dentist. I fix teeth.

-y

full of, covered with

turns a noun into an adjective

Sleepy
The children need to go to sleep. They are very sleepy (full of sleep).

-ous

full of, covered with

turns a noun into an adjective

Joyous
People are full of joy during holidays (very happy).
People are joyous during holidays.

-al

connected with

turns a noun into an adjective

Emotional
I show my emotions easily.
I am very emotional.

-ion

the act of doing something

turns a verb into a noun

Action
To act means to do something (act = verb).
Action is the thing you do (action = noun).

-ence

the act of doing something

turns a adjective into a noun

Confidence
I am confident that I will find a good job. (I feel very positive)
I have confidence in my ability to get a good job. (I feel very positive)

-ment

the act of doing something; product or result of an action

turns a verb into a noun

Encouragement
The teacher encourages me to work harder (verb).
The teacher gives me encouragement (noun).

-ness

the state of being something

turns an adjective into a noun

Kindness
People should be kind to each other.
Kindness is important to people.

-ship

the state of being something

noun

Friendship
I have many friends.
Friendship is important to me.

-ity

the state of being something

turns an adjective into a noun

Clarity
Writing should be clear. (easy to understand)
Clarity is important in writing.

-ish

like, similar, to

turns a noun into an adjective

Childish
He is not a child, but he is very childish. (acts like a child)

-ic

like, similar, to

turns a noun into an adjective

Athletic
He is an athlete (person who is very good at sports) (noun).
He is athletic (very good at sports) (adjective).

-ive

has qualities of

turns a verb into an adjective

Creative
He creates many new things.
He is very creative.

-ate

to make, have, become

verb

Translate
The woman translated the letter from Chinese to English (She made an English copy of the letter.)

-ify

to make, have, become

turns an adjective into a verb

Beautify
The woman wants to make her garden more beautiful.
She wants to beautify her garden.

-ize

to make, have, become

changes a noun into a verb

Sympathize
I have a lot of sympathy for my sick friend (feel sad for).
I sympathize with my sick friend (have sad feelings for).