Prefixes and Suffixes

A prefix is a word element added to a base or root at the beginning to give another word. Prefixes do not generally change or alter the word-class of the base or root word as suffixes do but they do change the meaning.

Examples are:

Build- base or root word

Re- a prefix


Fair – base or root word

Un- a prefix


Un  +educated – uneducated

Dis +qualify – disqualify

Under + develop   – under develop

SUFFIXES:     A suffix is a word element added to a base or root word at the end to give another word. Unlike prefixes, suffixes frequently alter the word-class and word-function.Suffixeschange words from nouns to adjectives and adjectives to verb.


Ness, nt, and dy can be added to get (a) happiness (b) solvent (d) comedy

EVALUATION: New Oxford English course book 3(sss) page 96 exercise i-x


Oxford English Course For Junior secondary Schools book 3, page 96 exercise2 and 3


Stress means the extra force usually applied when pronouncing a particular word or syllable. In other words, it is refer to a properties of syllables which make them stand out as more noticeable than others.

Stress can also be described as the contrast between different degrees of breath-force given to syllables in English. Stress embraces three clear categories. They are word Stress, Sentence Stress and Emphatic Stree.


Word stress is more or less fixed. Each word possesses strong/weak stresses which is content words in English. These are Nouns,adverbs, Verbs, and Adjectives. It begins strongly at the beginning of the stress and dies down at the end of the syllable. It is often made with stable pitch.

In speech we use words of one, two or more syllables. In any words of more than one syllable, one syllable is stressed and the other syllable normally has a lesser degree of stress. In English, there are three degree of stress:

  • Primary/strong stress
  • Secondary stress
  • Unstressed/weak syllable.

Stress placement is shown;

  1. By either placing a mark (‘) at the beginning of the stressed syllable; for Example;

‘ contest                          con’test.

  1. OR by capitalizing the letters of the stressed syllable; for example:

‘CONtest,                          conTEST’.

Primary /strong/stressed syllable.

It is a syllable pronounced with greater or much effort. It is indicated by placing a STROKE (‘) on top before the syllable sound to be stressed but in this work the stressed shall be written in capital letter.

Primary stree on:

1st syllable                           2nd syllable              3rd syllable

CAPtain                                comMANDdemoCRAtic

RUbber                                supPORT teleVISion

PAINter                               rejOICEinhiBItion

JOURney                              meTAllicacaDEmic

SUBject                                huMIlity                    pessiMIStic

inVENT                                  deVOTE           reCEDE



A suffix is a word element added to a base or root word at the end to give another word. Unlike prefixes, suffixes frequently alter the word-class and word-function. Suffixes change word from nouns to adjectives and adjectives to adverbs. For example, the adjective severe, by the addition of the suffix –ity ,is changed into a noun severity .The noun editor, by the addition of the suffix  -ial, is changed into an adjective editorial. Examples of suffixes an changes in word class and functions are:

  1. Noun-adjective suffixes
Suffix -LESS   -LY  -FUL  -LIKE  -Y  -ISH    -ITY  -IAL Meaning of suffix Without   Having the qualities of Having…., giving….,  Having theQualities of Like…,coveredwith Belonging to, having the character of      Base / root word Child (noun)Care ( noun)  Coward (noun)  Help (noun)  Child ( noun)  Cream (noun)Hair (noun) Turk (noun)Fool (noun)   Person (noun)Legal (noun) Editor (noun) New word formed Childless (adj.)Careless(adj.)  Cowardly (adj.)  Helpful (adj.)  Childlike (adj.)  Creamy (adj.)Hairy (adj.) Turkish (adj.)Foolish (adj.)   Personality (adj.)Legality (adj.) Editorial (adj.)
  1. Adjective-noun suffixes
Suffix  -NESS    -ITY Meaning of suffix  State, quality    Sane (adj.)Senile (adj.)Electric (adj.)Base/root word  Happy (adj.)Sad (adj.)Clever (adj.)New word  formed Happiness (noun)Sadness (noun)Cleverness (noun) Sanity (noun)Senility (noun)Electricity (noun) 
  1. Adverb suffixes
Suffix  -LY   -WISE  -WARD (S)Meaning of suffix   Base/root word  Happy (adj.)Strange (adj.)Wistful (adj.) Crab (noun)Clock (noun) Back (adv.)For (adv.) New word formed Happily (adv.)Strangely (adv.)Wistfully (adv.) Crabwise (adv.)Clockwise (adv.) Backward (adv.)Forward (adv.)
  1. Adjective suffixes
Suffix -ABLE -IBLE -ISHMeaning of suffix Able, worthy to Can be Some whatBase/root word Read (verb) Force (verb) Young (adj.)Fool (noun)New word formedReadable (adj.) Forcible (adj.) Youngish (adj.)Foolish (adj.) 
  1. Verb-noun suffixes
Suffix -AL  -ER, -OR   -ANT    -MENT -AGE -ATION Meaning of suffix Action  Instrumental oragentive  Agentive and instrumental   State, action Activity, result of State, action, institutionBase/root word Refuse (verb)Dismiss (verb) Drive (verb)Receive (verb)Act, edit (verb) Inhabit (verb)Disinfect (verb)    Amaze (verb) Drain (verb) Explore (verb)Organize (verb) New word formed Refusal (noun)Dismissal (noun) driver(noun)Receiver(noun)Actor, editor(noun) Inhabitant(noun)Disinfectant(noun)   Amazement(noun) Drainage(noun) Exploration(noun) Organization(noun) 

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