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Prefixes in Verbs: Definition and Examples

Class 8
Jun 12, 2023

Read the sentences

 Wow! You have done it all correctly.

  1. You can’t just believe it. The plot was (believable)
  2. I saw her just a few days ago, and still, I miss her. It looks like she just disappeared (appeared)
  3. I am sorry. I didn’t mean to hurt you. I must have misunderstood (Understood)
  4. He thought he could complete the project on time. But later, he realized it was impossible (possible).

In your activity, you have made new words using prefixes like Un, Dis, Mis, and Im.

You must have noticed that the above prefixes modify the meaning of a word in the following manner:

Un – Opposite of (As in “unbelievable”)


Dis – Not, away (As in “disappeared”)

Mis – Wrongly (As in “misunderstood”)

Im –   Not, opposite of (As in “impossible”)

Therefore, we can infer from the activity which you have just completed that by adding prefixes to the root word, the new word formed may mean any of the following:

  • Negative
  • Show repetition
  • Indicate opinion
  • Opposite of
  • Against
  • To mean wrong or bad
  • To mean across

What are Prefixes?

A group of letters or a letter that is added to the beginning of a word to make a new word is known as prefixes.


Prefixes modify the meaning of a word. When a prefix is added to a word, it can make a word negative, mean wrong or bad show, repetition, or indicate opinion.

The original word spelling or the prefix should not be changed.

Admiringly, the word prefix itself contains the prefix “pre-,” which means before, and the root word fix, which means to fasten or place.

Therefore, the word “pre” itself means “to place before.”

It belongs to the larger group of morphemes known as affixes.

Now, we will discuss some of the most commonly used prefixes…

First, let us take the prefix “Re-”

We use RE- to change the base word (write) to mean to do again.


Now here is another prefix, “Un-”

We use UN- to change the base word (happy) to mean the opposite.



Given below are some commonly used prefixes, their definitions, and examples.






What Are the Functions of the Prefixes?

Understanding the meanings of the most common prefixes helps us deduce the definition of new words that we run across in our reading, especially knowing that they can make a word mean maybe its opposite, such as the difference between possible and impossible.

Correct Indication of Placing Prefixes

When placing the prefix at the start of the word, the root word spelling never changes.

Just add the prefix to the beginning of the root word.

This will form a new word from the two parts, the prefix and the root word.

Match the prefix with the root word to form a new word.

prefix new word



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