Prefixes and suffixes Edit

Highlight: Don’t use three or more affixes in a single word.

A prefix is a letter or group of letters that are attached to the beginning of a word, whereas similarly, a suffix is attached to the end of a word. Attaching a prefix or suffix to a word is called affixing.

Common suffixes

  • -able, -ible, -al, -ial, -ed, -en, -er, -er, -est, -ful, -ic, -ing, -ion, -tion, -ation, -ition, -ity, -ty, -ive, -ative, -itive, -less, -ly, -ment, , -ness, -ous, -eous, -ious, -s, -es, -y

Common prefixes

  • anti-, de-, dis-, en-, em-, fore-, in-, im-, in-, im-, il-, ir-, inter-, mid-, mis-, non-over-, pre-, re-, semi-, sub-, super-, trans-, un-, under-

General do’s and don’ts

  • Don’t use three or more affixes in a single word. These words are difficult to comprehend for readers.
  • Some affixes such as under, less, able, super can be complete words too. Apart from these, make sure to use affixes along with root words rather than using them separately as individual words.
  • Only use hyphens when absolutely needed as most affixed words don’t require hyphens. For more information and exceptions to hyphenation, see Hyphens.
  • If you’re doubtful about using a hyphen, simply ask yourself if that would simplify or impede the reader. If it impedes understanding the word or context, don’t use a hyphen. Typically, hyphens are used to make longer, complicated words easier to read.

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