How Many of These Prefixes and Suffixes Can You Define?

By: Isadora Teich
Image: Shutterstock

About This Quiz

English is a complex language with roots and exceptions than a person can count, and can even throw off native speakers and experts. See if you know your post-s and pre-s with this HowStuffWorks quiz!

Are prefixes at the beginning or end of words?

Prefixes change the meaning of a root word and come at the beginning of them. For example, the prefix un- completely changes the meaning of the word involved by making it uninvolved.

The prefix "post-" means:

This prefix can be found in words like postmortem, postpone and post-rock. It means "after."

Which suffix means without?

This suffix can be seen in words like ruthless and hopeless. A hopeless situation is one without hope.

What does the prefix "ante-" mean?

This prefix means "before." For example if something is "anterior" it is positioned toward the front.

Which single letter makes a suffix?

When -y is added to adjectives as a suffix, it means that something is characterized by that suffix. For example, flowers are dainty.

What does the prefix "circum-" mean?

The prefix "circum-" means around. This is why to circumnavigate the globe means to travel all the way around the world.

Does the word "religious" have a prefix or a suffix?

The suffix -ous transforms the word religion from a noun to an adjective. The suffixes -ious and -ous mean a person is characterized by the words these suffixes follow.

What does the prefix "dis-" mean?

The prefix "dis-" means "not." This is why when you disapprove of something, you don't approve of it.

Which of these prefixes mean "more than"?

The prefix "Extra-" means "more than" or "beyond." The word extra-terrestrial refers to aliens, because they are more than or beyond living on earth.

Which suffix means something has the quality of an adjective?

This is a common suffix seen in words like greenish and childish. Someone who is childish has the qualities of a child.

Which of these prefixes mean "before"?

This prefix means before. This is why the word forefather refers to those who came before the current generation.

Freedom, boredom and kingdom all share which suffix?

The suffix "-dom" describes a state of being or place. This is why a kingdom is the place of the King.

To publicize something means to make it:

The suffix "-ize" means to become. When you publicize something, it becomes public.

Which of these prefixes mean "not"?

These prefixes all mean "not." This is why we have words like impossible, irreligious and illegal.

What does the suffix "-acy" mean?

This suffix transforms a word into a state. For example, a democracy is an organization that operates in a democratic way.

The prefix "mid-" means:

This prefix can be seen a number of words referring to the middle of a time or position. For example, "Midsummer" refers to the middle of summer.

The prefix "omni-" means:

This prefix can mean all or every. A herbivore eats only plants but an omnivore eats everything.

Which of these suffixes turn verbs into words which describe those who do a specific action?

The suffixes "-er" and "-or" both function in this way. This is why a reader is a person who reads and a creator is a person who creates.

The prefix "re-" means what?

This prefix means again. This is why to rediscover something means to discover it again.

Which prefix means "under"?

"Sub-" means "under." This is why submarines go under the sea and to be submissive is to put the will of another above your own.

Putting "-ism" the end of words turns them into:

A doctrine is a set of principles held by a group. This is why we have words like Judaism, Buddhism and Realism.

Which prefix means "two"?

This prefix means "two." For example, someone who is bilingual speaks two languages.

The suffix "-al" relates to:

This is a common suffix, which can be seen in the word "criminal." A criminal is one who has taken the action of committing crimes.

What does the prefix "macro-" mean?

"Macro-" means "large." For example, the word "macrocosm" refers to the whole of a large complex structure.

Which prefix means "wrong"?

"Mis-" is a very common prefix which means "wrong." For example, to misunderstand something means to not understand it.

Which suffix would you combine with the root word science to describe a person who practices in that field?

The suffix "-ist" is added onto words to change them to describe a person who performs those actions. This is why a scientist is part of the scientific process.

Which of these suffixes is most commonly added onto verbs?

The suffix "-en" is put on verbs to help describe something in the process of becoming that verb. For example, words like straighten, sharpen and strengthen.

The prefix "anti-" means:

The prefix "anti-" means against. For example, antidepressants are taken to fight depression.

Which of these suffixes is commonly added onto adjectives?

The suffixes "-able" and "-ible" show that something or something is capable of embodying an adjective. For examples, someone or something that is adorable is capable of being adored.

Which of these verb suffixes mean to become?

These suffixes all make a noun become a verb. For example, when you simplify something you make it simple.

The prefix "ex-" can mean:

This prefix can mean "former." This is why your ex-boyfriend is your former boyfriend.

Which suffix refers to direction?

The suffixes -ward and -wards relate to direction. For example, words like backwards, forward, and toward.

Which suffix is commonly associated with adverbs?

Slow describes movement. Slowly, however, gives that specific movement quality to a noun.

The prefix "co-" means _______.

The prefix "co-" means "with." For example, you work with your coworker.

Does the word "supernatural" have a prefix or a suffix?

The prefix "super-" means above or over. Something supernatural is above or beyond the natural.

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