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What are Affixes, Prefixes and Suffixes?

 An important aspect of learning to read and to comprehend what is being read is to know affixes. Knowing and understanding the meaning of affixes will help students become more fluent with reading and to understand what they are reading.

What are affixes?

Affixes are a small group of letters that change the meaning of a word. There are two kinds of affixes, prefixes, which are added at the beginning of a word, and suffixes, which are added at the end of a word.

What is a prefix?

Prefixes are added at the beginning of words. Some common prefixes are re, pre, and un. Adding these prefixes to words will change the meaning of the word. For example, we all know what it means to read a book, but if you ad “re” to read, you get reread, which means to read again.

What is a suffix?

Suffixes are added at the end of words. Some common suffixes are ful, less, and er. Adding these suffixes to words will change the meaning of the word. For example, to teach is a verb, meaning to show someone how to do something. If you add “er” to the end of teach, you get teacher, which is a noun. Teacher means one who teaches.

What are root words?

Root words are the base words before any prefixes or suffixes are added. For instance, the root word of teacher is teach and the root word of running is run. Knowing the meaning of the prefix or suffix being used with the root word will help students decipher the meaning of unfamiliar words.

How do you teach about prefixes and suffixes?

There are many activities that can be used to teach prefixes and suffixes.

What are prefixes?  What is a prefix?

These prefix and suffix posters make an excellent way to introduce new prefixes and suffixes. Each poster includes the target prefix or suffix then the meaning to the affix with a picture that relates to the example word for that affix. These posters give students a great visual to use and refer to when learning and practicing prefixes and suffixes.

Affix puzzles -- prefix puzzles -- suffix puzzles

These prefix and suffix puzzles are perfect for students learning affixes. These puzzles include the meaning of a word then the students must match the correct prefix or suffix with the correct root or base word.

Want a list of the more common prefixes and suffixes found in the English language?  Checkout this FREE DOWNLOAD here to learn more about different prefixes and suffixes, their meaning and examples of words that use each one!


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