Constructing Prefixes and Suffixes Rules

Prefixes are a standard set of syllables that are added to the beginning of root words to change their meaning. Suffixes are a standard set of syllables that are added to the ends of words to alter their meaning as well as their function.
Four categories, depending on their meanings. Prefixes can be used to indicate
1. quantity
2. negation
3. time, or
4. direction or position
Suffixes can help you recognize which parts of speech certain words are. The three categories of suffixes are as follows:
1. noun suffixes are those that change the root word to a noun
2. adjective suffixes change root words into adjectives, and
3. verb suffixes are added to root words to change them to verbs.

Using prefixes and suffixes correctly requires not only that you know what they mean, but also which guidelines to follow when attaching them to root words.
In general, hyphens shouldn't be used when adding a prefix or a suffix to a word. There are some exceptions to the rule. Normally, the prefix middoesn't require a hyphen, as in midday. However, when it's followed by a number, a hyphen must used. You should also use a hyphen when midis followed by a proper noun such as mid-January or mid-Atlantic. When adding less or like to the end of a word, a hyphen has to be used if the addition results in three l's occurring in succession.
The prefix re, meaning again, doesn't usually need to be followed by a hyphen. However, you should use a hyphen with it to distinguish the meaning of words with the same spelling. For example, you release a statement to the press, but you re-lease an apartment to a tenant.
Another rule is to add hyphens to ensure clarity:
• compound words – When adding a prefix to a hyphenated or a spaced compound word, it is necessary to use a hyphen.
• "self" words – A hyphen is added when self is used as a prefix. However, a hyphen is not required when self is the base word and it's followed by a suffix, as is the case with the word selfish.
• common elements – If you're using two or more prefixes with a common element, you use a suspending hyphen after each prefix to show its relationship to the common element. For example, "We completed pre-, mid-, and post -training assessments."
• capital letters – When you place a prefix in front of a word that begins with a capital letter, you have to use a hyphen. This would include words like mid-June and trans-American.
You should also add a hyphen when a prefix ends in a or i and the root word begins with the same letter. But typically, when the prefix ends with e or o and the root word begins with the same letter, you don't use a hyphen. There are some exceptions, however, including co-owner, co-opt, and de-emphasize. When in doubt, consult your dictionary.
The trend in spelling has been away from the use of hyphens. Although it's a trend – not a rule – it may sometimes help, when deciding whether to use a hyphen, to remember that the trend exists. And if ambiguity or confusion results from not including a hyphen, then you should add it.
When adding a prefix to a word, the spelling of the root word is not altered in any way. However, when adding suffixes to words, the spelling of the root word may change. Because of this, there are certain rules for adding suffixes to root words.

Prefix Examples
Anti- means against, opposing Antidote, Antibiotic
Co- means with Co-pilot, Co-worker
Suffix Examples
-al means the action or process of Criminal, Denial
-ism means doctrine,belief Buddhist, Judaism
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