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    Learn English > English lessons and exercises > English test #5593: Prefixes (1)
    > Other English exercises on the same topic: How words are built [Change theme]
    > Similar tests: - Finals in -y and -ie - Vocabulary: making verbs - Vocabulary: words starting with self- - Means, results : a synthesis... - Forming adjectives from nouns - Words and suffixes - Prefixes 2 - Suffixes
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    Prefixes (1)



    We use prefixes to change meaning. They never change the part of speech. (Most suffixes change the part of speech.)

    • Many prefixes give a word a meaning which is the opposite or negative of the original. For example, we can use the prefixes dis or un:

    dis + appear - disappear

    un + tie - untie



    meaning / use


    anti + adjective/noun

    oppositeanti- clockwise/ anti-climax
    anti + noun / adjectiveagainstanti-theft device / anti-European
    co + noun / verbtogethercohabit
    dis + verb


    dislike / disembark
    il + adjectiveoppositeillegal

    im + adjective






    inter + adjective



    ir + adjective


    mis + verbwrongly/ badlymistook / mishandle

    over + verb

    too much


    out + verb



    post + noun / verb



    pre + noun / verb


    pre- arrangement

    pro + noun / adjective

    in favour of

    pro-Unions / pro-European

    sub + adjective



    super + noun/ adjective

    greater than


    trans + noun / verb /

    acrosstransplant /transcontinental
    un + verb / adjective

    negative / opposite

    unlock / unhappy
    under + verb

    not enough/too little

    undercook / undercharge
     There are a few rules:

    • We use il instead of in with words that begin with l:

    il + legal = illegal

    • We use im instead of in with words that begin with m or p:

     im + polite - impolite

    • We often use ir instead of in with words that begin with r:

     ir + responsible = irresponsible.


    • Some common mistakes are:

    X You must unconnect the cables first.

    You must disconnect the cables first.

    X They expelled him for disbehaving.

    / They expelled him for misbehaving.

    • Note that many words with a prefix have a base part that never exists on its own. Here are examples: immediate, incontrovertible, uncalled-for

    Add a correct prefix to the following words.


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    English exercise "Prefixes (1)" created by felin with The test builder. [More lessons & exercises from felin]
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    1. polite.

    2. driver.

    3. approve.

    4. behave.

    5. logical.

    6. zip.

    7. inform.

    8. agree.

    9. eat.

    10. historic.

    End of the free exercise to learn English: Prefixes (1)
    A free English exercise to learn English.
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