Today’s English lesson is about choosing the correct prefix in English. It is useful for people studying for the B2 First and C1 advanced English exams.
A big problem many people have when the speak and write English is choosing the correct prefix.
We will look at the prefixes anti, bi, de, dis, inter, mis, out, over, re, and under in this lesson, as well as some example sentences so you can see how we use them in context.
This prefix is used when we have to repeat things. Look at this example:
- The computer crashed and I lost my assignment so now I have to rewrite it.
That’s right, I have to write my assignment again. What a pain in the backside!
Here are some more examples: rebuild, reuse, recall, rejoin, relive, repay and repeat.
There are more words here
We use this prefix to mean ‘too much’ and you can use it like this:
- Please take the chicken out of the oven now. Otherwise, you will overcook it.
Don’t cook the chicken too much. There is nothing worse that chicken that is tough to eat.
This prefix has many definitions. For example, it can mean between, among, and together to name a few.
Here is an example of how we can use it:
- My son has trouble interacting with other children.
‘Bi’, obviously, means two. It comes from Latin and is a very common English prefix. Here is an example:
- We have biweekly meetings with my boss to see how business is going.
We use ‘over’ as a prefix to mean not enough.
- The restaurant bill was only €15. I think I was undercharged.
This means that you think you should have paid more for your meal and that there may have been a mistake.
Out can mean more than something else. greater or bigger.
Look at the example sentence:
I know you are competitive but stop trying to always outdo me.
This prefix means that something is wrong or incorrect.
- People are always misspelling my name. It is really frustrating.
- The government was caught misusing public funds.
We use this prefix to give a words the opposite meaning.
- I really dislike cold weather.
- My wife looked at me in disbelief when I told her what I had done.
Similarly, ‘de’ is used to give the opposite meaning.
- I can only drink decaffeinated coffee if the afternoon. Otherwise, I can’t sleep.
- The river is polluted and needs to be decontaminated.
Here’s a list of prefixes to look at
Did you like the lesson? Here’s another one to look at.
Take a look at my English courses on curious.com