Prefixes and Suffixes Worksheets


Prefixes and suffixes are very important in English. They are sets of letters that are often placed at the beginning of a word (a prefix) or at the end of a word (a suffix) to change its meaning.

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This is why we often see words that look similar, but have different beginnings or endings, and have similar meanings. Learning the most common prefixes and suffixes will help you to learn lots of new vocabulary. Look at the examples and tables in this article and practice with these prefixes and suffixes worksheets. You'll start to feel comfortable with them very quickly!

Prefixes and suffixes are two kinds of affixes. Review them before continuing with these worksheets.

First, let's go over some of the most common prefixes and suffixes and how they are used.

Prefixes

A prefix is a set of letters that is added to the beginning of a word to change its meaning. Each prefix has a general meaning, so you will be able to understand what a word with a prefix means more easily.

Let's look at an example.

friendlyunfriendly
friendly man with cookiesunfriendly man shouting on the phone

The first man looks very friendly! I think it would be nice to spend time with him.

The second man looks unfriendly. I don't think it would be much fun to spend time with him!

We can see in the second sentence that we added the prefix "un-" to the word "friendly." This prefix "un-" means "not" or "the opposite of."

Here are more examples with the prefix "un-":
  • happy ----> unhappy
  • finished ----> unfinished
  • believable ----> unbelievable
  • acceptable ----> unacceptable
These words are all adjectives. We can also use the prefix "un-" with verbs.

Look at these examples:
  • do ----> undo
  • plug in ----> unplug
When you see a word that begins with the prefix "un-", you can know its meaning by looking at the word's root (the part that is not the prefix or the suffix). It might be a word you already know!

be careful teacher

But, be careful! Be sure you've seen the whole prefix before you decide the word's meaning.

Look at the word below:
  • underdeveloped
Let's try to find the prefix. Is it "un-" as in underdeveloped? No, that doesn't sound right!

We know the word "develop," which means "to grow bigger or become more advanced." This is the root of our word!

So, the prefix must be under, which means "below," "lower," or "not enough." The word underdeveloped means "not developed enough."

The table below has some common prefixes, their meaning, and an example word.

Prefix Meaning Example word
dis- not, opposite of disagree
in-, im- not incorrect, impossible
mis- incorrectly misunderstand
re- again redo (do again)
un- not uninteresting
under- below, lower, not enough underwater


Suffixes

A suffix is a set of letters that is added to the beginning of a word to change its meaning. Each suffix has a general meaning, so you will be able to understand what a word with a suffix means more easily.

Let's look at an example.

lovelovable
a couple in love getting marrieda cute, lovable teddy bear

The couple is getting married because they love each other very much.

That teddy bear is so cute and lovable!


We can see in the second sentence that we added the suffix "-able" to the word "love." This suffix "-able" means "capable of being" or "able to be."

So, the word lovable means something is able to be loved, or it makes you feel love for it.

Here are more examples with the suffix "-able" or "-ible" (depending on the root word):
  • present ----> presentable
  • comfort ----> comfortable
  • depend ----> dependable
  • reach ----> reachable
"-able" is an example of an adjective suffix. Any time you see a word ending in "-able", it is an adjective.

Some suffixes are noun suffixes. They always make a noun. For example, "-ment" talks about an "action" or a "process":
  • enjoy ----> enjoyment
  • treat ----> treatment
  • govern ----> government
Do you remember the word underdeveloped that we look at a moment ago? The root of this word is "develop."
  • development
The root is the same, but we have used the noun suffix ment, so this is the process or action of developing.

The table below has some common adjective suffixes, their meaning, and an example word.

Suffix Meaning Example word
-able, -ible able to be terrible
-ful full of beautiful
-less not having, without toothless

And here are some noun suffixes, their meaning, and an example word.

Suffix Meaning Example word
-dom place or state of being freedom
-er a person who does worker
-ment action or process payment
-ness state of being happiness

Now that we've learned some common prefixes and suffixes, it's time to practice!

Exercise A: Prefixes

Complete the sentences by writing the correct prefix in the blank space. You can use a dictionary to help you.

dis-             -in               mis-               re-               un-               under-


1. I just can't believe it! The story is _____believable!

2. No, that answer is _____correct. It is wrong.

3. Let's look at this information again. We should _____view it before the test.

4. I saw Allison just a moment ago, but now I can't find her! It seems that she _____appeared!

5. Oh, I'm sorry, I didn't hear you correctly. I _____understood you.

6. The subway does not go over the land like a normal train. It moves _____ground.

Exercise B: Adjective suffixes

Complete the words that describe the pictures below. Use the suffixes from the list.

-able               -ful               -less



1. The first woman is very tired. She wants to rest!

The second woman can't stay still. She always wants to move! She is rest_____.

 tired woman resting in a chair           energetic woman running


2. The first dog isn't cute. He's a little scary!

The second dog is very cute! He's ador_____!

angry, mean dog          a boy with a cute puppy


3. Jason writes lots of lists, so he always remembers what he has to do. He never forgets!

But Melanie can't remember anything! She's very forget_____!

a man writing lists            a woman who can't remember


Exercise C: Noun suffixes

Complete the sentences that describe the pictures using the correct suffix. You can use a dictionary to help you.

-dom               -er               -ment               -ness


1. I teach science in big a university. I am a physics teach_____.

a science professor


2. Sir Alan is King Richard's best knight. He is brave and strong. He is the most important knight in Richard's whole king_____!

a brave knight


3. Henrietta is my best friend. She is wonderful! The best thing about her is her kind_____. She is always so nice to people!

a nice, kind friend


4. The kids always have fun together. They never disagree or have an argu_____.

children who get along

Answer Key

Exercise A: Prefixes

1. I just can't believe it! The story is unbelievable!

2. No, that answer is incorrect. It is wrong.

3. Let's look at this information again. We should review it before the test.

4. I saw Allison just a moment ago, but now I can't find her! It seems that she disappeared!

5. Oh, I'm sorry, I didn't hear you correctly. I misunderstood you.

6. The subway does not go over the land like a normal train. It moves underground.


Exercise B: Adjective suffixes

1. The first woman is very tired. She wants to rest!
The second woman can't stay still. She always wants to move! She is restless.

2. The first dog isn't cute. He's a little scary!
The second dog is very cute! He's adorable!

3. Jason writes lots of lists, so he always remembers what he has to do. He never forgets!
But Melanie can't remember anything! She's very forgetful!


Exercise C: Noun suffixes

1. I teach science in big a university. I am a physics teacher.

2. Sir Alan is King Richard's best knight. He is brave and strong. He is the most important knight in Richard's whole kingdom!

3. Henrietta is my best friend. She is wonderful! The best thing about her is her kindness. She is always so nice to people!

4. The kids always have fun together. They never disagree or have an argument.

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