The Prefix

A prefix is a number, letter, or word that is placed before another word and changes its meaning. By memorizing a handful of prefixes, you will be able to deduce the meanings of words you didn’t know before.

For example:

  • pseudoscience = fake/false science, not based on the scientific method
  • homogeneous = of the same kind or nature
  • megaregion = the large region that makes up many urban areas
  • postmodern = after the modern period
  • transpacific = across the Pacific
  • multifaceted = having many facets


The Suffix

Unlike a prefix, a suffix is an affix at the end of a word that can help you better understand or deduce the word’s meaning. Below is a chart with some common suffixes:

chart of adjective endings

Common Affixes

Recognizing affixes (suffixes and prefixes) will make you a more capable reader and save you time. Below is a list of common affixes categorize by use:


  • subway, superpower, transatlantic, interurban, infrastructure, extraterrestrial, interconnected

chart of prefixes related to location

Time and Location

  • presurgical, postsurgical, retrograde, postapocolytic, primordial, antebellum

chart of prefixes related to time and location


  • bicycle, monologue, October, tripod, pentagram, semiprofessional, multiligual

chart of prefixes related to numbers


  • minifridge, microscope, megaphone, miniature, equilibrium, semi-annually, megafauna

chart of prefixes related to size

Last Updated April 5, 2017