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Decoding Using Affixes: dis-, un-, pre- & -less

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Decoding Using Affixes: dis-, un-, pre- & -less
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.L.3.4B

Basics on the topic Decoding Using Affixes: dis-, un-, pre- & -less

Affixes – Definition

There are multiple ways of how new words are formed in English. Sometimes they are formed with the help of affixes. Let’s have a look at affixes in more detail:

Affixes are word parts that change the meaning of a root word or help to create a whole new word with its own meaning.

There are two types of affixes in English – prefixes and suffixes.

  • Prefixes are added to the beginning of the root word. For example, in the word undo, un- is a prefix, and do is a root word.

  • Suffixes are added to the end of the root word. For example, in the word useless, -less is a suffix, and use is a root word.

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From the examples above we can see how affixes and roots form new words together. To interpret the meaning of these new words, we need to know the meaning of affixes. Today, we will learn the meaning of prefixes dis-, un-, and pre- and a suffix -less.

Prefixes – “dis-”, “un-” & “pre-”

Prefixes dis-, un-, and pre- are very common in the English language. They can be used with nouns, verbs, adjectives, and adverbs. Take a look at the table to remember the meaning of these prefixes:

Prefix Meaning Example
dis- not/none dishonest
un- not unusual
pre- before prepare

To determine the meaning of the unknown words with these prefixes, you can follow these steps: * identify and define the root word * identify and define the prefix * combine two meanings to find the meaning of the whole word

For example, let’s have a look at the word unusual. We can split it into its root usual and the prefix un-. The root word, usual, means “something typical”. The prefix un- means “not”. Therefore, the complete word unusual means “something that does not typically occur.”

The Suffix “-less”

Now let’s have a look at the prefix -less. It means “without”. It is commonly used in adjectives, such as clueless, useless, restless, countless.

To determine the meaning of the unknown words with the suffix -less, we follow the same steps as with prefixes. Let’s practice with the word countless:

  • First, we identify the root word – count. It means “to determine the number of something”.
  • Then, we identify the suffix – -less and its meaning: “without”.
  • Now we can combine two meanings. The word countless means “something that cannot be counted”.
Additional Information about Affixes

Affixes – Summary

Now let’s review what we have learned about affixes.

Prefixes and suffixes are types of affixes – word parts that change the meaning of a root word. Prefixes are added to the beginning of the root word. Suffixes are added to the end of the root word.

You can determine the meaning of unknown words with affixes by following these steps:

  • First, identify and define the root word.
  • Then, identify and define the prefix.
  • Finally, combine two meanings to find the meaning of the whole word.

26645_SEO_Decoding_Using_Affixes_dis-__un-__pre-___-less-01.svg

Frequently Asked Questions about Affixes

What is the difference between prefixes and suffixes?
What are some affixes examples?
Can affixes change the grammatical category of a word?

Transcript Decoding Using Affixes: dis-, un-, pre- & -less

Koko and Pip have been hired as word detectives to solve the meaning of new words that have appeared around town. "I've never seen these words before, Pip. But I do recognize the affixes and root words!" Koko and Pip will solve the case by decoding using affixes: dis, un, pre, and less. An affix is a word part that changes the meaning of a root word. An affix can be a prefix, which goes at the beginning of the root word, or a suffix, which goes at the end of the root word. Today, we will be focusing on the prefixes dis, un, and pre. We will also look at the suffix less! Before we help Koko and Pip, let's review what these affixes mean. Dis means not or none. Un means not. Pre means before. Less means without. Now that we've reminded ourselves of these affix meanings, let's solve some words! Koko and Pip discovered the word unknown. We can split the word into it's root and affix then come up with a definition based on the meaning of each part! The root word, known, means something is familiar. The prefix UN here, means not. Therefore, the complete word, unknown, means something that is not known, or is not familiar! Here is another word Koko and Pip have found around town; endless. We know the root word, end, means something that is finishing. Here is the suffix, less, which means without. We can combine these to define endless as something that is without an end or finish! Koko and Pip have found another word; disagree. What is the root word, and what does it mean? The root word is agree, and it means you have the same opinion. What is the prefix, and what does it mean? The prefix is dis, which means not or none. What does the word disagree mean? Disagree means that you do not have the same opinion. Koko and Pip discover one final word; preheat. Can you figure out the meaning of preheat using the root word and the prefix? The root word, heat, means to warm something up. The prefix, pre, means before. We can say that preheat means to warm something up before using it. While Koko and Pip wrap up the case, let's review it! Remember, you can determine the meaning of words using known affixes and root words. To determine the meaning of these words, first identify and define the root word. Then, identify and define the affix used. Finally, combine the meanings to find the meaning of the whole word. "We are such amazing word detectives, Koko. Nothing gets past us!"

1 comment
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  1. cool

    From Lucas Scott Kerley, 4 months ago

Decoding Using Affixes: dis-, un-, pre- & -less exercise

Would you like to apply the knowledge you’ve learned? You can review and practice it with the tasks for the video Decoding Using Affixes: dis-, un-, pre- & -less.
  • Find the affixes.

    Hints

    A prefix comes at the beginning of a word, and a suffix is attached at the end.
    In this example, replace is the root word, ir- is a prefix, and -able is a suffix.

    An affix is a word part that changes the meaning of the root word.
    Example: Fair and unfair.

    There are three prefixes and two suffixes.

    Solution

    PREFIXES

    • Unknown ~ Un
    • Disagree ~ Dis
    • Preheat ~ Pre
    SUFFIXES
    • Endless ~ less
    • Hopeless ~less

  • Find the meaning of the word.

    Hints

    The prefix, pre- means before.
    Example: Preschool is school that begins at a younger age or before normal schooling.

    There are two correct choices and three false.

    Solution

    These are both possible meanings for the word prepaid:

    • Money was paid early
    • Part of the cost was paid before the total amount was paid

  • Pair affixes and meanings.

    Hints

    Hope is a root word. If you add the suffix, -less you have hopeless, meaning without hope.

    Preschool is school that begins at a younger age or before normal schooling.
    Preheat means to warm something up before using it.

    Unknown, means not known.

    The prefix, dis- has two possible meanings.

    Solution

    AFFIXES

    • un- meaning not.
    Example: Unknown means not known.
    • dis- meaning not or none.
    Example: Disagree means to not agree or an absence of agreement.
    • -less meaning without.
    Example: Endless means without end.
    • pre- meaning before.
    Example: Preschool is school that begins at a younger age or before normal schooling.

  • Define words with affixes.

    Hints

    The definition of the root word determine is to make a decision based on investigation or reasoning.

    The definition of the root word aware is to know about a situation or fact.

    Another way of saying relaxed could be at rest. What word would mean the opposite of this?

    Remember the meanings of the affixes and use this to help you find the definitions of the words.

    Solution
    • Predict means to say what you believe will happen before it actually occurs.
    • Unaware means to not notice or know something.
    • Restless means not relaxed, agitated.
    • Predetermined means decided or established beforehand.
    • Dishonest means behaving in an untrustworthy, or insincere way.
  • Identify words with affixes.

    Hints

    Prefixes come at the begining of a root word. The prefixes this lesson focuses on are dis-, un-, and pre-.

    Suffixes come at the end of a root word. The suffix this lesson focuses on is -less.

    A prefix comes at the beginning of a word, and a suffix is attached at the end.
    In this example, replace is the root word, ir- is a prefix, and -able is a suffix.

    There are three words with prefixes, two words with no affix, and one word with a suffix.

    Solution

    PREFIXES

    • Unlikely
    • Disappear
    • Preview
    SUFFIX
    • Effortless
    NO AFFIX
    • View
    • Effort

  • Find the meaning of the words.

    Hints

    Remember the meanings of the affixes and use this to help you find the definitions of the words.

    Look for the prefixes, dis-, un-, and pre-, and the suffix -less. Remove these to find the root word. Then combine this with the meaning of the affix to find the definition of the entire word.

    Two or more things that are like one another are similar.

    Another way of saying ahead of time could be to say before.

    Solution

    1) The word disprove means to prove something is false.
    2) The word unusual means not common or standard.
    3) The word meaningless means without purpose or value.
    4) The word disobey means to not follow a rule or command.
    5) The word prepare means to make things ready ahead of time.
    6) The word unlike means different, or not similar.