What is the difference between prefix and suffix?


Even if you remember English words, the number is huge. Even in (junior high school graduation), the required number of vocabulary is about 2,100, and if you aim for 400 points in TOEIC, you need to learn about 3,000.

It's very difficult to steadily remember this number, isn't it? So, this time, I will introduce the prefixes that you should know in order to remember many English words efficiently.

What is the English prefix? How is it different from the suffix?

The "prefix" is the beginning of an English word. In English, it is called a prefix.

Take the English word commerce as an example. If you break this word down,

com (prefix) + merc (root)

You can see that it has the structure. By the way, the root is the smallest unit that analyzes a word.

Since com has the meaning of "together and together" and merc has the meaning of "business", we can see that "doing business together" = "commerce and trade" when the two are combined.

On the contrary, the "suffix" is the last part of the English word, as the word "tail" means. In English, it is called a suffix, which changes the meaning of English words after the prefix or root.

For example, a worker can be disassembled as follows.

work (root) + er (suffix)

The suffix er stands for "person," so

work + er (person)

As mentioned above, you can see that it means "worker" as it is.

The combination of this prefix and the suffix is called "affix", and in English it is called affix. English words basically have either or both of these affixes.

What are the benefits of remembering the English prefix?

The big advantage of remembering the prefix is that you can guess without knowing the meaning of the English word if you know the prefix.

For example, if you know that fish hen means fish in Chinese characters, you can guess that "it's a fish hen, so it's probably something of a fish type" even if you don't understand the meaning by looking at the word "shachi". right.

The English prefix is the same as the Chinese character. For example, the com- prefix has two meanings, "together" and "completely." If you know that, even if you come across an unknown word comXX, you will be asked, "Because there is com in my head, is it a word that means to do something together, or a word that expresses something perfect?" You can guess.

Remembering the prefix will help you eliminate English words that will definitely be different, even if you don't understand all the meanings of the English words in your exam options.

Remember this first! 5 most important prefixes

Here are five of the most important prefixes you definitely want to remember.

com = together / together

to com-

① Both together
② Completely and completely

There are two meanings.

"Together together" in ① is an image of two things sticking together and becoming together. Examples of words include:

・ Combination (combination / combination)
・ communication (communication / communication)
・ community (community/community)

If it is "completely and completely" in ②, there are the following words.

・ Complete (complete, complete)
・ comply (respond)

By the way, this com- may change to con- or cor- depending on the sound that follows immediately, so be careful.

re = again / return

There are three meanings of re-:

① Behind
② Again
③ On the contrary

The word that means "behind" in ①

・ Recall
・ receive

And so on.

"Again" in ② is the nuance of "becoming something again". Examples of words include:

・ Re-election
・ reborn

In ③ "on the contrary", there are the following words.

・ Reaction
・ reply

in = inside

Remember the in-prefix as it is often used.


① Inside / Inside

It means that. Word examples are as follows.

・ Include
・ income
・ incorporate

For example, if you decompose include,

in (inside) + clude (close)
↓ Confine


You can see that it means. It will be easier to understand if you break down the prefix and root.

ex = outside

ex- has the opposite meaning of in-.

① Outside / outside

Examples of words are:

・ Exceed
・ exception
・ exchange
・ exit

You can see that there is an image that goes beyond something and goes out.

sub = Under

sub- is

① Below

is what it means. Words include the following:

・ Submarine (submarine underwater)
・ submit
・ subscribe

A more straightforward example is the subway. It's an example that is easy to imagine that a sub- is attached because it is a train running under the ground.

Introducing a list of other frequently used prefixes!

The above five prefixes are the most important prefixes you should definitely remember. In addition to the above five, I will introduce some prefixes that you should definitely remember, so let's check them while imagining their meanings.


Word example: overbooking/overconfidence

fore- (front)

Word example: foresee / forecast

de- (denial)

Word example: deactivate (deactivate) / decode (decode)

be- (make)

Word example: befriend

under- (insufficient)

Word example: underestimate

anti- (anti / non)

Word example: anti-aging / antibiosis

hyper- (super / excessive)

Word example: hyperphysical / hyperinflation


Word example: malaise / malediction

neo- (new)

Word example: neoliberalism (new liberalism) / neologism (new word / new expression)

dis- (opposition / lack)

Word example: disadvantage / disagree

non- (non-non)

Word example: nonconductor / nonsense (meaningless)

semi- (half)

Word example: semi-transparent / semiconductor

mis- (wrong)

Word example: misapplication (misuse / abuse) / misschance (unlucky / misfortune)

bi- (2)

Word example: bicycle / bilingual (speaking two languages, bilingual)


Word example: monocracy (dictatorship) / monologue (one person / monologue)