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Difference Between Suffix and Prefix

Suffix vs Prefi

All languages contain words which can be used to form statements and sentences. A word consists of a stem or a root, and it can also have affixes. The root is the base word and can be combined with other words to form another word which can have a different meaning.
The words that are added to the root word to modify its meaning are called “suffix” and “prefix.” They are called “affixes,” and are added before or after the root word. Depending on the root word on which they are added, the prefix and suffix can acquire different meanings.
The suffix signifies the tense and number of a word. It can also signify which part of speech the word belongs. It is added after the stem or root word and can provide grammatical information but does not change the word’s meaning (inflectional), or it can change the word meaning (derivational).
For example, the root word “love,” which is in the present tense, if the suffix “ed” is added to it to form the word “loved,” it forms the past tense of the word. If the suffix “ly” is added to form the word “lovely,” it becomes an adjective.
The prefix, on the other hand, is an affix that is added before the stem or root word and changes the form and meaning of the word that it is affixed to, oftentimes giving it the opposite meaning. Take the word “tie” for example. If the prefix “un” is added to it, it forms the word “untie” which has the opposite meaning of the word “tie.”
An affix cannot stand on its own and needs to be attached to a root word in order to have a meaning. The following are examples of suffixes and prefixes:
Suffix: s, es, ed, est, er, ing, n’t, ism, ile, ion, ity, ist, ive, ment, ous, ure, ize, ary, ant, ate, and y.
Prefix: un, pre, re, a, ab, ad, anti, ambi, apo, extra, homo, contra, super, be, co, de, dis, en, ex, hypo, semi, trans, sub, pro, over, and out.
Example: the root word “arm.” If the suffix “ed” is added, it creates the past tense “armed.” If the prefix “under” is added, it creates a different word, “underarm,” which has a different meaning from the root word. The suffix “s” can also be added to form the word “arms” which is the plural form of the word “arm.”
Summary:

1.A prefix is an affix that is added before a root word or a stem to modify its meaning while a suffix is an affix that is added after a stem or root word.
2.A suffix can signify the tense or the number of the stem or root word while a prefix can give a stem or root word a different meaning which can be the opposite of the root word.
3.The prefix and the suffix cannot stand on their own and need a root word in order to have meaning.


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