ELA 3: All About Prefixes and Suffixes

Fixed on becoming a master of prefixes and suffixes? We'll fix you right up with a hot new Shmoopy video above.

3rd GradeLanguage Arts
Elementary and Middle School3rd Grade
LanguageEnglish Language

Transcript

00:23

Understanding prefixes and suffixes help us decode and understand new words. [Baby in a cot]

00:27

Well…not all new words.

00:29

First, we have to learn what a root word is.

00:31

A root word is a word without a beginning or ending part added to it. [Coop pointing at a blackboard]

00:35

It’s just pure…simple…basic.

00:37

Like cool, natural spring water. [Waterfall]

00:39

Or a hot dog without any toppings.

00:41

Whichever comparison works for you.

00:43

Let’s take the word run.

00:45

Run is a root word, because it has no beginning or ending part.

00:47

It’s not super-run or run-a-thon or anything crazy like that. [Someone jogging]

00:51

Just…run.

00:52

But…what if we added “re”, which means “again,” to the beginning of run?

00:56

We would make the word “rerun”, which means to run again.

01:00

Even if it does usually refer more to an old episode of Big Bang Theory than someone who’s

01:04

gearing up to do another lap… [Guy looks tired on the couch]

01:05

“Re” would be a prefix, because prefix is a part of a word that’s placed at the

01:09

beginning.

01:10

What if we added “ing” to the end of “run”?

01:12

We’d have to stick another “n” on there…but we’d get the word “running”.

01:16

And presto - the verb tense has changed.

01:18

Now, instead of saying something like “I am going to run,” you can say, “I am running.” [Guy running on an athletics track]

01:23

Same root word, same basic idea…but it gives us a slightly different interpretation of

01:27

how this running business is going down.

01:29

Knowing our prefixes and suffixes can help us understand words…

01:32

…and can also help us change the meaning of root words we already know…

01:35

…by allowing us to add prefixes and suffixes to change their meaning.

01:39

Like… “finish” could be “finishing,” “finishes,” “unfinished,”… [Guy crosses the finishing line]

01:44

…oh.

01:44

You just wanted us to finish.

01:46

Roger that.