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Suffixes, Prefixes, and Root words (Basic)



Suffixes 'ion' and 'tion'

A suffix is a group of letters which may be added to the end of a word in its root/base form to change its part of speech or meaning.
The suffixes 'ion' and 'tion', when placed at the end of words, imply the meaning 'state of' or 'condition of'.
For example, product - production, imitate - imitation, affect - affection.    


Prefixes 'em' and 'en'

A prefix is a group of letters placed at the start of a word. The word with the prefix often has a different meaning than the original word. The prefixes 'em' and 'en' denote the meaning 'cause to' when added to the word.
For example:
Endanger - to put someone or something in danger.
Empower - to cause to have power.  


Prefixes and Suffxes

Prefixes and suffixes are sets of letters that are added to the beginning or end of another word. When we add these prefixes and suffixes to root words, we get a word with an entirely different meaning. However, prefixes and suffixes are not words in their own right and cannot stand on their own in a sentence.
For example,
In the word, 'unhappy', un- is the prefix and happy is the root word. 
Similarly, in the word 'tasteless', taste is the root and -less is the suffix.


Addition of Suffixes and Prefixes to Root Words

prefix is a group of letters placed before the root of a word. For example, the word "unhappy" consists of the prefix "un-" [which means "not"] combined with the root (stem) word "happy"; the word "unhappy" means "not happy."
suffix is a group of letters placed after the root of a word. For example, the word flavorless consists of the root word "flavor" combined with the suffix "-less" [which means "without"]; the word "flavorless" means "having no flavor."


Root Words

A basic word to which affixes (prefixes and suffixes) are added is called a root word because it forms the basis of a new word. The root word is also a word in its own right. For example, the word lovely consists of the root word 'love' and the suffix -ly.


Formation of Words Using Root Words

To understand root words let us look at an example.
Let's take the root word - "hope"
We can form a new word by adding the suffix -"ful": hopeful
We can form another word by adding a different suffix - "less": hopeless 

Therefore a single root word can be modified into a variety of words just by adding affixes.