What are

Consider this sentence.

• He is understood by all of us.

In this sentence, it has been stated that he is properly understood by us.

Consider the following sentence.

• He is misunderstood by all of us.

In this sentence, it has been stated that he is not properly understood by us.

That means that he is misunderstood.

The addition ‘mis’ has been added to the word ‘understood’ and thus a new word ‘misunderstood’ has been created

The addition ‘mis’ is called a prefix.

Such an addition when added to the beginning of a word is called

Such an addition, when added to the end of a word, is called

The origins of
Prefixes which are used in English are Latin, Greek and English languages.


Let us see the prefixes of English origin.

Here for your reference, the prefixes are listed below with examples for every prefix.

A- on, in

abed, aboard, ashore, ajar, asleep

A-out, from

Arise, awake, alight

Be- by (sometimes intensive)

Beside, betimes, besmear, bedaub

For- thoroughly

Forbear, forgive

Gain- against



Income, inland, inlay

Mis- wrong, wrongly

Misdeed, misunderstanding, mislead, misjudge

Over- above, beyond

Overflow, overcharge

To- this

To-day, to-night, to-morrow


Untrue, unkind, unholy

Un-to reverse an action

Untie, undo, unfold

Under-beneath, below

Undersell, undercharge, undergo, underground

With-back, against

Withdraw, withhold, withstand


Ab (a, abs)-From, away

Abuse, assign, attach, abstract

Ad (ac, af, al, an, ap, ag, as, ar, at, a)-to

Adjoin, accord, affect, aggressive, allege, announce, appoint, arrest, assign, attach, avail etc…

Ambi (amb, am) - on both sides, around

Ambiguous, amputate, ambition, amphitheatre etc…

Ante (anti, an)-before

Antedate, anticipate, ancestor


Benediction, benefit

Bis (bi, bin)-twice, two

Binoculars, biscuit, bisect

Circum (circu) - around

Circumnavigate, circumference, circuit

Con (col, com, cor) – with, together

Contend, collect, combine, correct

Contra (counter) – against

Contradict, counteract, counterfeit


Descend, dethrone, depose etc…

Dis (dif, di) –

Disjoin, differ, divide etc…



Ex (ef, e) - out of

Extract, effect

Extra-beyond, outside of

Extraordinary, extravagant

In (il, im, ir, en, em) –in, into

Invade, illustrate, immerse, irrigate, enact, embrace etc…

In (il, im, ir) –not

Insecure, illegal, imprudent, irregular etc…

Inter (Intro, enter) – among, within

Intervene, introduce, entertain etc…

Male (mal) –ill

Malevolent, malcontent



Ob (oc) –in the way of

Object, occupy etc

Of – against


Pen – almost

Penultimate, peninsula etc…

Per (pel) – through

Pervade, pellucid

Post – after

Postscript, postdate, postpone

Pre – before

Prefix, prevent, predict

Preter –beyond


Pro (por, pur) –for

Pronoun, portray, pursue

Re – back, again

Reclaim, refund, renew, return

Retro –backwards

Retrospect, retrograde

Se (sed) – apart

Secede, separate, seduce, sedition

Semi – half

Semicircle, semicolon

Sine – without


Sub (suc, suf, sug, sum, sup, sur, sus ) – under

Subdue, succeed, suffer, suggest, summon, support, surmount, sustain

Subter – beneath


Super –above

Superfine, superfluous

Trans (tra, tres) –across

Transmit, traverse, trespass etc…

Vice – in the place of

Viceroy, vice-president


A (an) – without

Atheist, apathy, anarchy

Amphi – around, on both sides

Amphitheatre, amphibious

Ana – up, back

Analysis, anachronism

Anti (ant) – against

Antipathy, apology

Apo(ap) – from

Apostate, apology

Arch (archu) – chief

Arch-bishop, arch angel, architect

Auto – self

Autobiography, autograph

Cata – down

Cataract, catastrophe, catalogue

Di – twice


Dia – through

Diameter, diagonal

Dys –badly

Dysentery, dyspepsia

En (em) – in

Encyclopedia, emblem

Epi – upon

Epilogue, epitaph

Eu – well

Eulogy, euphony, eugenics

Ex (ec) – out of

Exodus, eccentric

Hemi – half,


Homo (hom) – like

Homogeneous, homonym

Hyper – over, beyond

Hyperbole, hypercritical

Hypo – under

Hypocrite, hypothesis

Meta (met) – implying change

Metaphor, metonymy

Mono – alone, single

Monopoly, monophony, monoplane

Pan – all

Panacea, panorama, pantheism

Para – beside, by the side of,

Parallel, paradox, parasite

Peri – round

Period, perimeter, periscope

Philo (phil)– love

Philosophy, philanthropy

Pro – before

Prophesy, programme

Syn (sym, syl, sy ) – with, together

Synonym, sympathy, syllable, system

Advanced English

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