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Hi Kids! Today you will learn an easy way to know new words and thus quickly build your vocabulary.
There are certain letters or groups of letters that have special meanings. They are affixed or attached to some words to make a new word. They are known as a 'prefix' or a 'suffix', according to their place in the word.

Prefix + root word = New Word

By using a prefix we can build many new words from the old, familiar ones. They are not words, therefore, cannot stand on their own in a sentence.
A prefix is a letter or group of letters with special meanings added 'pre' or before a 'base or root word' to make a new word. Their meaning is usually different from the base word.

Let us see the prefixes un-, re-, pre-, mis-.

1. un + wrap is unwrap
'un' means not / opposite of/ take back
Example: Tom, unwrap your gift.
The word 'wrap' means 'to cover something completely'. The letters 'un-' mean not or opposite of. Therefore, the word unwrap means not to cover or to remove the cover completely. We have learnt another word!
In this sentence Tom is told to remove the cover on his gift.

2. re + fill is refill
're' means again, back
Example: The waiter will refill the glass with water.
The word 'fill' means 'to make something full'. The letters're-' mean 'again'. Therefore, the word refill means to fill again. In this sentence the waiter will again fill the glass with water.

3. pre + heat is preheat
'pre' means before.
Example: Preheat the oven to bake a cake.
The word 'heat' means to 'hot'. The letters 'pre' mean 'before'. Therefore, the word preheat means 'hot beforehand'. In this sentence the oven is to be made hot before baking the cake.

4. mis + place is misplace
'mis' means not/wrong/ badly.
Example: Carlos, don't misplace your pencil or you will not find it.
The word 'place' means to 'put something in a particular area or position'. The letters 'mis' mean 'wrong'. Therefore, the word misplace means to place wrongly. In this sentence Carlos is told that if his pencil is placed wrongly he will not find it.

If you know the meaning of some common prefixes you will be able to understand the meaning of many new words and easily expand your vocabulary faster.

Note: There are many words that are built in this way but not all words get prefixes or suffixes. © 2014. All Rights Reserved.