Prefix & Suffix

A prefix is a group of letters attached to the beginning of a root or word (or even group of words) serving to modify and/or extend meaning. Prefixes generally have an easily understood meaning in and of themselves, which they apply to the root word to which they are affixed. For example, “un” is a negative prefix which will change the otherwise positive word “happy” into “unhappy”.

A suffix is a group of letters attached to the end of a root or word (or even group of words) serving a grammatical function. For example, a suffix can indicate the part of speech of a word just as it can modify and extend meaning.  The suffix “ism”, for instance, means “a belief in.”  So when you take the word commune and add the suffix “ism”, you create the new word (and new meaning) communism.

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