Prefixes

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Prefixes (at the beginning of words) can help you to understand what a new word means. Here are some common prefixes.

prefix

meaning

example

Ex( + noun)

Was but not now

Ex-wife, ex-president

Half(+ noun or adjective)

5% of something

Half-price , half-hour

In , im(+adjective)

not

Informal, impossible

Non(+adjective or noun)

not

Non-smoking

pre

before

Pre-school

Re( +verb)

again

Redo, rewrite

Un(+adjective)

not

Unhappy, unsafe

 

 

An ex-wife is a wife who is now divorced.

 

President Gorbachev is an ex-President of Russia.

 

A half-hour journey is a journey of 30 minutes.

 

Something that cost 10$ yesterday and cost 5$ today is half-price.

 

Informal clothes are clothes like jeans and trainers. Formal clothes are things like a suite.

 

If something is impossible, you can’t do it. It is impossible to read with your eyes closed.

 

A non-smoking room is a room where people may not smoke.

 

Pre-school children are children who are still too young to go to school.

 

To redo something is to do it a second time and to rewrite something is to write it a second time.

 

Unhappy means sad, the opposite of happy.

 

Unsafe means dangerous, the opposite of safe.

 


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