what is a prefix and what are the rules?

CEF B2- C2.

What is a prefix and what are the rules? A prefix is a word, or part of a word, which – when placed in front of another word- changes the meaning. There are a lot of prefixes in English. The text below tries to give you an example of prefixes in English.  Can you complete the text with the correct prefix? You need to use the following prefixes:  un, dis, in, re, mis, ir, im.  You can find the answers, together with a good list of typical words and their prefixes by clicking here. To be honest, the answer to the question -What is a prefix and what are the rules? – is, as so often the case in English, not black and white. Good luck!

Many people   ____like the fact that there are no fixed rules for prefixes in English. Maybe we should   ____think the English language?  It’s full of such  ____consistencies. However, until we do, this issue will not  ____appear. It would be  ____honest to say that this subject is simple. But if there are no rules, there are some guidelines. Let’s   ____view these.

Some people say the most common prefix is ‘un’, but I’m ____decided about this.  The prefix ‘re’ is not  ____usual. Others  ____agree and say that ‘im’ is popular. But I’m a little ____certain about this. I think they’re  ____reading the situation. We normally only use ‘im’ before words beginning with ‘p’. For example, ____practical and ____possible.  However this rule is a little  ____regular in that there are notable exceptions: ____popular and ____punctual for example. Finally, any rules about the use of prefixes in English would be  ____complete without mentioning ‘in’.

But at the end of the day will people understand you if you say ‘unpolite’ instead of ____polite?  Of course they will.  So maybe the right prefix is not so important.. or maybe it is? At the end of the day, it could be the difference between ‘man’ and  ‘____man’

What is a prefix and what are the rules?

14 thoughts on “What is a prefix and what are the rules?

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