Prefix and Suffix for CLAT 2020

Prefix and suffix are the group of letters which when added to a word they change its meaning.

They help students to enhance their vocabulary and help in remembering the meaning of various words as once you know what a prefix or suffix depict then you can easily guess the meaning of many words wherein they are used.

Thus this topic is essential in CLAT Examination both in vocabulary and grammar part.

Prefixes are the group of letters which are added at the beginning of the root word and are capable of changing the meaning of the root word. For example, if the prefix ‘dis’ is added to the word ‘appear’ it will make it to ‘disappear’ and the meaning of the root word appear gets totally changed by adding the prefix ‘dis’ to it. Similarly, if you add the prefix ‘un’ to the word ‘kind’ it’s meaning also gets changed.

Following are the points to keep in my mind while using prefixes:

  1. The spelling of the root word remains the same i.e. on the addition of a prefix to a word the spelling of the word will not be affected by the prefix. For example, the usage of prefix ‘un’ to the word ‘happy’ will make it to ‘unhappy’ thus spelling of the root word remains the same.

There are certain words which start with the syllable with which the prefix ends. Eg. ‘un’ is added to ‘noticeable’ it will make ‘unnoticeable’. Herein also the spelling of the root word remains the same, only the first letter is used twice.

  1. Use a hyphen when you join a prefix to a proper noun. Also always use a hyphen with the following prefixes self, re and ex in order to avoid confusion. For example, the word‘re-cover’ which means to cover again if written as ‘recover’ can be mistaken to mean regain.
  2. Also don’t get confused with the lookalikes i.e. the word ‘uncle’ is an independent word and does not consist of the prefix ‘un’. Similarly, the word ‘expert’ is an independent word and does not consist of the prefix ‘ex’. If you will remove the alleged prefix from these words you will realise the remaining root word does not have a logical meaning in itself thus they are not the words joined with a prefix.
  3. Different prefixes can have the same meaning. Eg. prefix ‘un’ and ‘dis’ both represent ‘opposite of’ or ‘not’. Therefore here is the list of some commonly used prefixes with their meaning
Prefix Meaning
Ante Before
Anti against
Co with
dis Opposite of
ex Former
Fore, pre Before
il, im, ir, in, un Not
Non Without
Re again
Trans Across
Uni one

 

Suffixes are the group of letters which are added at the end of the word. These groups of letters are capable of changing the meaning of the root word.

They generally represent the form of the tense of the word or add on to the meaning of the word. For example, the usage of suffix ‘ing’ when added to any word represents that the word is in action i.e. it depicts the continuous form of tense, usage of suffix ‘ed’ depicts an action done in past.

Suffixes are added to the adjectives to form adverbs. Eg usage of suffix ‘ly’ to the adjective ‘joyful’ makes it an adverb i.e. ‘joyfully’

Usage of the suffix ‘es’ or ‘s’ denotes the plural of a singular word. For example ‘lamp’ means a single lamp and ‘lamps’ means more than one lamps.

Following are the points to keep in mind while using suffixes:

  1. Generally, the spelling of the original or root word remains the same but there is an exception to this rule i.e. if the word is of one syllable and the last letter of the word is a consonant and letter preceding to it is a vowel then double the last letter. For example, if the word is ‘run’ and the suffix is ‘ing’ then the resultant word will be ‘running’, Herein the word ‘run’ is of single-syllable and its last letter is ‘n’ which a consonant and the letter preceding to it is ‘u’ which is a vowel, so letter ‘n’ will be used twice when a suffix is added to it.
  2. When the suffix ‘ness’ is added to the words ending with ‘y’ then on the addition of suffix the letter ‘y’ is replaced with letter ‘i’. for example when ‘ness’ is added to the word ‘lazy’ it becomes ‘laziness’.
  3. Words ending with the vowel of ‘e’ and the word is silent about the sound-letter ‘e’ then on the addition of the suffix ‘ing’ the letter ‘e’ will be removed. For example when ‘ing’ is added to the word ‘write’ it becomes ‘writing’.
  4. It is to be kept in mind that one suffix can have more than one meaning, so it is to be used according to the meaning and requirement of the sentence. for example the suffix ‘er’ is used to denote a person who performs an action like one who leads is known as leader and ‘er’ is also used to denote a thing which more than other when the two things are compared like faster, better etc.

Here is the list of commonly used suffixes:

Suffix Meaning
Acy State or quality
Er, or, ist Person or object that does a specified action
Ness State of being
Ship Position held
Able, ible Capable of being
Ish Having the quality of
Wise In relation to
Ive Having the nature of
Less Without
Ly Related to or quality

 

Learning of prefix and suffix not only helps in enhancing the vocabulary but also help in remembering the meaning of many words at the same time.

For example, any word which starts with ‘im’ it will mean in negative i.e. immaterial, immoral they all have a negative meaning. So in this way it helps to memorize words also it makes easy to identify the meaning of the synonyms and antonyms.

A bare reading of the above rules makes the questions of vocabulary and suffix-prefix very easy to solve in a quick manner.

 

Got doubts about CLAT 2020? Find all your answers and much more here.

Get CLATalogue' Posts in Your Inbox