Fixed on becoming a master of prefixes and suffixes? We'll fix you right up with a hot new Shmoopy video above.
|3rd Grade||Language Arts|
|Elementary and Middle School||3rd Grade|
Understanding prefixes and suffixes help us decode and understand new words. [Baby in a cot]
Well…not all new words.
First, we have to learn what a root word is.
A root word is a word without a beginning or ending part added to it. [Coop pointing at a blackboard]
It’s just pure…simple…basic.
Like cool, natural spring water. [Waterfall]
Or a hot dog without any toppings.
Whichever comparison works for you.
Let’s take the word run.
Run is a root word, because it has no beginning or ending part.
It’s not super-run or run-a-thon or anything crazy like that. [Someone jogging]
But…what if we added “re”, which means “again,” to the beginning of run?
We would make the word “rerun”, which means to run again.
Even if it does usually refer more to an old episode of Big Bang Theory than someone who’s
gearing up to do another lap… [Guy looks tired on the couch]
“Re” would be a prefix, because prefix is a part of a word that’s placed at the
What if we added “ing” to the end of “run”?
We’d have to stick another “n” on there…but we’d get the word “running”.
And presto - the verb tense has changed.
Now, instead of saying something like “I am going to run,” you can say, “I am running.” [Guy running on an athletics track]
Same root word, same basic idea…but it gives us a slightly different interpretation of
how this running business is going down.
Knowing our prefixes and suffixes can help us understand words…
…and can also help us change the meaning of root words we already know…
…by allowing us to add prefixes and suffixes to change their meaning.
Like… “finish” could be “finishing,” “finishes,” “unfinished,”… [Guy crosses the finishing line]
You just wanted us to finish.