10 Prefixes That will Dramatically
Improve Your Vocabulary
10 Prefixes That Will Dramatically Improve Your Vocabulary
Although my mother tongue is English, there are still a ton of words that I don’t know. Many of these English words are technical or related to an unfamiliar topic, like geology, chemistry, or computer engineering. When I come across one of those words, I can often guess the meaning.
Sometimes, I rely on the context. I ask myself, "What do I know about the situation that can help me decode this new word?" Or "Is the speaker happy, sad, tired, or disappointed?"
Other times, there is a part of the word that has a specific meaning that helps me get to the essence of the word. Like, if I see “photo” in a word, I know it’s going be related to light: photograph, photosynthesis, photon.
You can do the same!
In today’s top ten list, I’m going to give you ten commonly used word beginnings, called prefixes, that have very specific meanings. These little guys are special keys that can unlock the mysteries of vocabulary that you already know, and even better, allow you to quickly understand new words that you’re going to see in daily life.
Oh, I should mention one more thing before we get started. For today’s list, I’ve decided to list them alphabetically, rather than in order of least to most importance. So, (drum roll,please) here goes.
underpaid: paid too little for work or a service
undercooked: not cooked enough
underrated: rated or valued too low, as in movie that is not appreciated for its quality
underage: not old enough
under, or lower than
subway: an underground electric railroad
subterranean: existing, situated, or operating below the surface of the earth; underground
substandard: below average, less than adequate
subtitle: captions displayed at the bottom of a movie or television screen that translate or transcribe the dialogue or narrative
semiannual: happening twice a year, every six months, at the half year point
semicircle: half a circle or sphere
semiconscious: not quite awake, not quite unconscious
psychiatric: a branch of medicine that deals with mental or emotional disorders
psycho (short for psychopathic): a person who is mentally ill and often dangerous or violent
psychosomatic: caused by mental or emotional problems rather than by physical illness
prefix: a letter or group of letters that is added at the beginning of a word to change its meaning
premature: happening or born too soon or before expected
prepare: to make someone or something ready before an activity, use, purpose
prediction: a statement or guess about something before it happens
polyglot: knowing and using many languages
polygamy: the practice of being married to more than one person at the same time
polymer: long or larger molecule consisting of a chain or network of many repeating units)
polyamorist: a person who has in more than one open romantic relationship at a time
too much, more than is needed
overpaid: receiving more money than deserved
overwhelm: having too many things to deal with, such as work, money problems, stress
overdress: to be wearing clothes that are too formal or fancy for an event
life, living organisms
biology: the science and study of things that are alive, such as plants and animals
biodiversity: the existence of many different kinds of living things in one environment
biography: the story a real person’s life written by someone else
bicycle: A vehicle with two wheels
bisexual: Sexually attracted to both men and women
biweekly: Happening every two weeks or twice a week
bilingual: Knowing and using two languages
antidepressant: used to treat or help depression, usually referring to a type of medicine
antibiotic: a type of drug used to kill harmful bacteria in animals and humans
antisocial: refers to behaviours or people that are harmful or violent, or go against social norms
Success depends upon previous preparation, and without such preparation there is sure to be failure.
Here are a few more prefixes that didn’t make the list: co (together: coworker, collaborate), hydro (water: hydrate, hydroelectric), mal (bad: malady, malaise, malaria), photo (light: photograph, photocell, photosynthesis), re (again: reuse, recycle, remarry)
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